Who’s responsibility is it to keep you well? Mine? Your personal trainer’s? Your nutritionist’s?
I think you would agree that getting healthy and staying that way is ultimately your personal responsibility. I’ll certainly do everything in my power to help you get there, but it is up to you to take the initiative, to follow through, and continue to do what it takes until you are able to maintain a satisfactory level of health.
So where does your health insurance fit into this equation?
First of all, understand that insurances are in the business of making money. They don’t make it a habit of bending over backward to ensure that you are taken care of. Thank goodness that we have catastrophic insurance policies that will take the brunt of the cost of any major medical events. But anything short of a complete breakdown becomes a little more ambiguous when it comes to your insurance company’s responsibility.
While your car and your body are 2 different entities, a comparison can be drawn between the two when it comes to insurance coverage. After all, it is often the same companies that are writing both policies.
Who maintains your car? You or your insurance company? You pay for the gas. You put new tires on your car. You pay for the oil changes. You wash, wax, and vacuum it. You flush the cooling system and change the brake fluid. Your insurance company only steps up when your vehicle is wrecked. Like it or not, that’s the way insurance works.
Similarly, your health insurance is only there for you when your body is wrecked or broken down. There is a term in the insurance vernacular called “medical necessity”. This is the insurance’s definition of when a procedure is deemed eligible for coverage under your plan. Please understand that medical necessity is used strictly as a determinant of whether or not your insurance is responsible for payment, but has absolutely no relevance as to a procedure’s actual impact on your health and wellness. According to your insurance company, brushing your teeth is not “medically necessary”, but nobody would argue with the fact that it is an essential component of dental health.
What about when your insurance plan allows you an arbitrary number of chiropractic adjustments per policy year, say 6 or 10? Does this mean that’s all you need? Believe it or not, that’s how some people interpret their plans. “If I needed it, my insurance would cover it,” so the thinking goes. Again, I’d love it if your insurance had some altruistic motives, but that simply isn’t the case. Imagine if your insurance picked up part of your grocery tab. Now let’s say that apples are part of your coverage, but your plan only allows you 4 apples per year. Are you to assume that any more than 4 is unnecessary? Are you going to stop at 4 apples, even though you love their health benefits? What if there were a component absolutely necessary to your health that was only found in the flesh of a fresh apple? I’m guessing your insurance wouldn’t mean so much anymore.
Are you beginning to see the point? As you’ve probably heard me say before, health insurance isn’t really “health” insurance at all. It would be more aptly called “sick” insurance, as its purpose is to pitch in only when your body begins to fall apart. It has absolutely no productive impact on your actual wellness and the prevention of sickness and disease.
So while your insurance is a nice safety net in the event of a catastrophe, and does offer limited help with ongoing health care expenses, by no means does it actually serve to keep you healthy.
That, ultimately, is up to you.
*Image credits to phasinphoto, renjith krishnan, Nuttapong @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net