Sunday, October 28, 2012

The best life insurance plan...

is to keep breathing and remain among the living.

Life insurance always makes for an interesting discussion as, let's face it, what we really are doing is planning for death, not planning for life.  Many look to the "experts" for guidance when approaching death planning; I question the qualifications of these "experts" for this very personal decision.  To start, these "experts" are, more often than not, also life insurance salespersons (or sales consultants or whatever glorified title they may be going by).  All too often we listen to "experts" whose judgement is impaired by self interest.  At best, these "experts" are only able to suggest appropriate insurance based on "bean counter" quantitative measures.  For example, these bean counters may suggest that you need insurance in the amount of 1 year's salary (or 2 years or 3 years) and/or they may suggest that the insurance cover certain obligations such as a house, child care and the hole in the ground for your corpse...blah, blah, blah...

Here are my thoughts and philosophy when it comes to life insurance:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

What the FSA?

It's that time of year again when many of us get a chance to consider "benefit" choices for the coming calendar year.  I try to look at every possible way to save a buck.  This is not to say that I don't like to spend money; I do (and am continuing to learn the pleasures of spending money from my kids).

Saving is not buying something you don't need or something inferior to what you want because it's cheap.  Saving is all about getting what you want at the best price.  And so it is with health care.  In this blog, I'm going to talk about 2 strategies for setting aside tax-free money for the purpose of purchasing health care.  I have had personal experiences with both.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

5 Musings regarding the Affordable Care Act

I am a firm believer that the Affordable Care Act was a courageous and necessary step toward addressing health care in America.  Undoubtedly, there are some areas that I'm somewhat leery of and a few areas where I feel somewhat robbed.  Some of specific areas of concern are discussed below:

1.  Health Insurance is NOT equal to Health Care.  I continue to be disturbed that in conversations relating to health "care", health "insurance" is commonly used synonymously.  In my posting relating to customer care, I describe how a particular insurance company failed to pay valid health claims in a timely manner.  Since that time, I have heard numerous anecdotes of neighbors and colleagues who have delayed or not sought health care due to cost issues even though they were insured.  Yes, those deductibles and co-pays are real money.  In one case, a spouse of an employee declined going to an emergency room due to the high cost of an emergency room visit.  While some may criticize gambling with your health over a $50 emergency room co-pay, for many $50 is a significant hit to the weekly family grocery bill.  It seems to me that we need a minimum bill of rights for all when it comes to health care and that these basic needs need to be exempted from co-pays and deductibles much as preventative health is under the current initiative.