As a student in high school, I haven’t given insurance much thought. I have always been relatively healthy. I am not prone to sickness or accidents. I really didn’t think about how my parents could pay the bills when I twisted my ankle. Fortunately they did have insurance and my health bills were easy to manage. I also saw my grandmother taken to the ER several times and my mother marveling at the fact that her total bill for several week in the hospital was less than $1000.00. I did not make the connection that insurance was what had saved them so much money.
Insurance is what makes our healthcare system manageable for the average citizen. I have seen statements come in the mail for various health care charges, from dentists to eye glasses and ambulance rides. I see a really large figure and then next to it is a reasonable amount or a zero that my parents have to pay. The big numbers are usually pretty scary and I know if we had to pay that amount our healthcare would suffer.
My parents get their health insurance from my dad’s workplace. Every year they have to choose a plan that best fits our family’s needs. They can choose a doctor they trust and a budget that works for their income level. It hasn’t always been the same every year, but it has worked well for us. Insurance covered the cost of having kids, well baby check ups, foot injuries, hernia surgery, and strep throat. It is also paying for braces, wisdom teeth, filling cavities, eye glasses, checkups and almost every health need we have.
There are other kinds of insurance as well. There is life insurance, car insurance, home insurance. I have even heard of people insuring their hands or voice, or important pieces of art. I imagine one can get insurance for just about anything!
Life insurance is important for those who are responsible for other people, such as a father and mother and insuring their lives for the future care of their children. Companies will offer life insurance for their employees, it is usually a year’s salary. This would not benefit a family for very long. A missing parent is a huge loss and life insurance can help a family recover and reduce stress at a difficult time. When my grandfather passed away, he left behind enough for my grandmother to be cared for for many years. He planned ahead, covered the funeral expenses for both of them and left only the decision of what flowers to buy, when he passed away. It made it easier for my family to be able to celebrate his life.
Insurance coverage on a home is also important. If someone were to have a fire, or get robbed, the insurance would help a family recover. A few years ago, our bathroom had a flood. The water ran all night and flooded the upstairs bathroom and ran downstairs into the dining room. We had to replace carpets, floors, walls and a toilet. There was a faulty part in the toilet and the insurance company was able to pay for all our repairs. As rental property owners, my parents also had rental insurance on their second house. It covered them in case of any accidents or damage on the property.
Car insurance is also a benefit to a car owner. My dad had a minor fender bender in a local parking lot. There was no damage to his truck but the car in front of him had some damage. They filed a claim on their insurance and wanted their medical bills paid. Our insurance covered the cost and my dad didn’t have to pay anything extra. Car insurance rates can also be affected by how good a driver you are and how well you follow the rules of the road.
I am going to be getting my license soon and I am told that I will have to help pay for the insurance. I have really good grades and I am getting to be a good driver. Hopefully it won’t be too much to cover me while I drive. I plan to be a defensive driver but one never knows what will happen with another careless driver. I hope they have insurance!
I have heard people complain about having to have insurance, how it is not affordable, how they get fined if they don’t have insurance. I can see their reasoning and difficulties but in the long run, if everyone cooperated, made good insurance choices and were responsible for their actions, the cost of insurance might go down. My fathers workplace has incentives for people to stay healthy, exercise and get regular checkups. This helps them pass on the savings to their employees and encourages them to participate in their own health benefits. They also have a family fun day that encourages healthy food choices and exercise. All these things will not guarantee the health of an individual but as an overall trend, it makes a healthier work force.
Insurance is an important and necessary part of our lifestyle and community. It helps make healthcare affordable, it helps us recover at times when life is difficult and it encourages us to be good stewards of our lives and belongings.
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