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May 27, 2005

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Most people would never even think of driving their car without insurance. Cars run an average of $20,000+ for a new one, and $5,000+ for a decent running "pre-owned" car. For many, the thought of replacing their car out of pocket is not even a consideration.

Here is another thought.

No one PLANS on having an auto accident. They just . . . happen. A person with a perfectly "healthy" car doesn't really need auto insurance; the need comes about when something happens, like an accident.

Healthy people don't need health insurance. Even those who go to the doctor really don't need insurance to cover their office visit. Yet many times when I talk to potential clients (the majority have no health insurance now) and I ask what they want their coverage to do, the majority of the time they want doctor copays, Rx copays and . . . they don't want to pay a lot in premiums.

If all you want insurance for is to cover office visits, what you really need is a savings account.

Surgeons don't operate on healthy people. Hospitals are not a place for travelers to stay overnight and get a meal or two while on the way to the beach.

Health insurance is for future needs, not the present.

Here is a real life event involving two people who made very different choices and their respective outcomes.

http://healthinsurance411.myblogsite.com/blog/_archives/2005/5/2/641701.html

Non-truncated link

http://tinyurl.com/crryl

The car analogy starts to get old because I'm sorry, but most of us simply don't consider our cars as important or valuable as our lives. If you wreck your car and haven't saved up and don't have good enough insurance...well, you can always downgrade to a clunker, or take the bus, or whatever. Can't quite say the same for your health/body. The consequences and ramifications are not comparable.

And also health "accidents" are not analogous to car accidents..because often if someone had gone to the doctor earlier, had gotten maintenance care, had had regular check-ups...major health issues could have been detected earlier and greater long-term cost avoided.

So your car argument, which is commonly used, is of limited actual relevance.

Old analogy or not, very few people drive without auto insurance, but quite a few will walk around without health insurance because they "never get sick or go to the doctor".

And, most buy auto insurance to replace or repair their car with little (if any) thought to the tremendous liability associated with driving a car.

The same, whether you agree or not, is true of health insurance.

The out of pocket for a doc visit and even an Rx is minimal compared to the out of pocket for a major illness or accident.

With either one, driving a car with minimal or no liability coverage; or walking around with minimal or no health insurance, can create a financial drain that can cost you everything you have accumulated. You can also have your wages garnished to pay those debts that would have been covered by insurance.

If one's car is not as important as their life, then why are so many irresponsible adults opting to go without health insurance?

Here is a question for you.

When you were a starving artist in NY, and went for "a few years without coverage", did you own a car? Did you have it insured?

Nope. I lived in NY. I didn't own a car. Best part of living there is not needing a car.

No car, no need for auto insurance.

No health insurance and you got lucky. Could have worked out differently.

Of course I know that!

I just thought of another thing on this car/health insurance analogy.

So, do car insurance companies reject people who have a history of car accidents? I mean I know your rates can go sky-high, but do they ever just plain old reject a customer?

being such a perfect driver, I of course would have no idea :)

Underwriting affects all phases of risk transfer, including insurance, loans, investments, etc.

Yes, your rates will increase. Yes, you can be cancelled or non-renewed. Yes, you will find it difficult (and pricey), maybe even impossible to find a carrier to insure you if you act irresponsibly in operating a motor vehicle.

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