The importance of insurance became apparent to me when it hit me in the face, almost literally. It was a warm fall evening and as a late birthday present my grandmother took my best friend and I to a Red Sox game. The tickets were fairly cheap and the seats weren’t the greatest, however this has been a night etched in my mind since its occurrence. Aside from the experience of overpriced concessions and my grandmother’s overexcitement towards her beloved team, another major event in my life had taken place that night. My current boyfriend, Shane, who at the time I had only been dating for about 6 months, was an avid soccer player and the undisputed star of his high school soccer team. That night while I was at the baseball game, he was partaking in a game of his own. The season was beginning to wind down, meaning the entire team was getting fired up about their state tournament seeding. Being the captain of the team, Shane took his energy up a notch in order to inspire and lead the others. I took notice on the unusually long take it was taking him to give me the results of the game. I wasn’t worried yet, because I knew that if Shane didn’t perform up to par he would take some time to cool off. Additionally, I had a grandmother threatening to run across the Fenway Park outfield to keep me occupied. To my surprise a friend of Shane’s texted me wondering about the score. It was all normal to me until he asked what hospital Shane was staying in. Hospital? What did he mean hospital? Unless he was referring to his regular doctor’s office I was unaware of purpose of this odd question. Then the calls began swarming in like bees to a hive. The fans were loud, the announcers were loud and the voices on the phone were trying to be loud enough for me to here, but I couldn’t make out anything they were saying. By the time the 7th inning stretch came to end the only information I knew was that my shining star had been knocked unconscious and wasn’t responding.
The story about how this came to be is typical knowing the game of soccer. Shane went up for a header against a boy much smaller than him. When the opposition was at his full height he was only to reach Shane’s hip, which he then hit. The impact caused Shane to make a complete 180 in orientation and tumble to the ground head first. I’m almost glad I wasn’t in attendance, because I was spared of hearing him cry for any family member he could remember or recognize. At the time he probably didn’t know who I was because of the severity of his injury. He was immediately transported to a hospital in
Boston where he would remain for the entirety of the night. For the next 2 months he was a vegetable. The only activity he could actively participate in was sleeping. On top of that, later doctor’s visits relieved that Shane had also broken his foot in the accident. This meant that even after his concussion recovery was over crunches and later a walking boot would be needed. The equipment needed not only to heal his foot, but also the neck brace he had to keep on for the duration of his concussion would cost money. The incident took his mother out of work, him away from school and of course a financial burden on the family. The difficulties faced after an injury has occurred is where insurance comes in because the bills do not disappear once a patient is healed. On account of Shane’s father having a job in a work union the whole family receives insurance benefits through his provider. The union policy fortunately covered the majority of expenses the family came across. However, no matter the degree of insurance coverage a person may have a deductible of some sort still has to be paid, especially in Shane’s case with the sizable amount of services he has gone through. On the night he was admitted alone, he had undergone one ambulance ride, two MRI’s and two CT scans. Each of these activities, like I have previously mentioned, all required out of pocket pay.
Some may ask what’s the point of having insurance if there’s still upfront payment involved? To them my response is that Shane comes from a family of three rambunctious and accident prone boys. Individually they get hurt occasionally, but when you combine all of their medical needs under one roof their injuries happen more often than not. Most families or even individuals do not put money aside in a savings account or hide money under their mattress waiting for a medical emergency to use it on. This exact reason is why insurance has generated a growing importance as age increases, it forces you to save. Insurance companies aren’t evil beings stealing your money for profit, they’re aiding the monetary process that coincides with the medical field. Rather than thinking of it as a liability to your money, insurance is an asset to use in case of emergency. It’s a moderated savings account that alleviates upfront costs. Shane’s family a textbook example of why it can be helpful to families, without it the money that covered his bills would’ve gone to a secondary usage.
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