Lydia B

Living in Southern California people are constantly being told to be prepared for either a massive earthquake of a devastating wildfire. In order to do that people are encouraged to prepare a disaster kit to help if a devastating earthquake or wildfire comes. The kit stays in a safe place and is used only when it is really needed. Having a disaster kit can bring peace of mind knowing that you have everything you would need right there incase something happens. Insurance can be likened to that disaster kit. Just like the kit, insurance can bring peace of mind as well.

Health insurance is a very important part of many people’s lives. Without the insurance there would be many people living in fear that a catastrophic health disaster might come visit them at any moment.  Having health insurance brings people peace of mind that comes with knowing that if a significantly detrimental health event occurs they will not be brought to financial ruin by the cost of the treatment to regain their health. I learned about the value of health insurance a few years ago when just such an event threatened the stability of my family.

When I was in middle school my family was going through a very tough time. We had survived the immediate effects of the sudden downturn in the economy but still my father’s job and therefore, my family’s income was in danger of being lost. In fact, a year after the initial impact of the falling economy my father was laid off from his job. What were we going to do? Our main source of income was gone and with it the means to afford health insurance. As a family we generally had good health but what if some serious health issue happened while my father was unemployed? Unfortunately, we found out the answer to this question.

It was during this time of uncertainty my mother was diagnosed with early stage cancer. What were we going to do? My father just lost his job. We had no income and no insurance. Both of these ended when my father got laid off. Cancer treatment would take a long time and be expensive. There was no way we could afford treatment of any kind. Was this going to be the start of a very painful experience of seeing my mother suffer as the cancer grows and slowly deprives her of her life? How long would we have to wait until my father got a new job and therefore, new insurance so my mother could get treated? These thoughts went through my mind as I tried to cope with this difficult situation.

Fortunately, my mother was qualified to participate in a state sponsored insurance program for women in similar situations. It was because of this insurance program my mother was able to receive a more thorough diagnosis and begin the treatment she needed. The insurance gave my family peace of mind, as my mother was able to get the surgery, radiation therapy, medication and other medical care she needed. She was able to be put on the path to become a cancer survivor. My father eventually got a new job and our family was restored to financial peace of mind, but without the insurance my mother was able to get we could have ended up in a very difficult and sad situation.

This experience got me to thinking about the value of insurance. Everyday there are many people who face unfortunate circumstances that can land them in a state of financial ruin or worse.  They did not plan to have the downturn in health, the house fire, the car accident or some other calamity walk into their life and turn it upside-down. They have little to no resources to allow them to safely recover from their misfortune. To attempt to recover without insurance the cost of recovering from a disaster like those mentioned above can be devastating. I do not think I could live that way. Having to constantly think about what would happen if something bad occurs would just give me lots of stress.

As I mentioned before, having health insurance can give you peace of mind. Insurance can greatly lessen the amount of damage that the treatment for an illness can do to a person’s finances. Just knowing that you are insured can be a great stress relief. But, health insurance is not only for when you get sick, it is also for the prevention of illness. I can think back to the many times my father took me to the doctor to get vaccinations. I certainly did not like getting the shots, but I was able to get the shots and enjoy the good health I have today because insurance made my vaccinations affordable. In conclusion, insurance, especially health insurance, is a worthwhile investment that brings peace of mind and is there to help when something bad happens. I will be sure to always make sure I have adequate insurance in the future.

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