I now what you are thinking … come on, admit it … Dave made a common error in the headline … got confused between “Insure” and “Assure” there, didn’t he?
Well, I can “Assure” you I didn’t … misusing “Insure” in that way is what we used to call in the old technical training business and “An Attention Step” … part of every good lesson plan.
The reason I chose this topic and headline is that I’ve been getting tons of queries and information from folks about all sorts of insurance in the Philippines.
I also hear a lot from readers who want to move to the Philippines and would do so tomorrow …except they are broke. And it’s surprising how many of those ‘broke’ stories all too often involve insurance. Seems to me there is a great opportunity there for someone to sell insurance against going broke 😉
Now, so far as I know, there are no legitimate insurance plans that insure you against going broke … but it seems to me these days that it is the insurance itself that is killing our country.
In just the first few minutes of research on what Americans are spending on insurance I decided to break things down into some of the common burdens people seem to take on willingly, often without a single thought,
Number one on this list .. yeah, you guessed it … Heath Insurance:
WASHINGTON — An average family health insurance policy now costs more than some compact cars, and four in 10 companies will likely pass more of that expense on to workers, according to a closely watched survey of businesses released Tuesday.
The average cost of a family policy offered by employers was $13,375 this year, up 5% from 2008, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust survey found. By comparison, wages rose 3% over that period, the study said. .. Read the full article on increases in health insurance costs here.
As the article said, that’s more than the cost of some small cars. It’s not only an obscene (IMO) figure, but it is many times brought on by the intended beneficiaries themselves. Insurance seems to have become like crack cocaine to America. Gotta have it, no matter how much we really need it, or how bad it might be for us.
Not too long ago I was talking with a Fil-Am couple I know who lives in the US. The subject revolved around their possible return to the Philippines to retie in the not too distant future, and insurance came up.
This couple .. in their early 50’s, no small children, are both decently employed in semi-professional jobs. The woman shared with me some astounding (to me, anyway) total costs for their health insurance. When I asked her to tell me more about what they actually had … what all that money was going for … one of the things that popped up immediately was that between the two of them they had 3 different Dental Plans.
Now I’m no dental health care maven … my local dentist knows I am long overdue for routine cleaning and checkups … but I know dental care is important … and out of pocket costs can be high. I asked how often they visited the dentist. The answer was, neither had been in years!
The idea of two middle aged people eating and living in the USA, with no particular health problems, needing three separate dental care plans just kind of floored me.
Although part of each plan was paid for by their employers,the annual cost came up to nearly a month’s worth of Philippine living expenses … if they lived modestly.
Sadly, the real tragedy is, like the majority of dental care plans I have seen in my life, they were all three, close to worthless. They pay so little in terms of modern-day costs that the overhead of having them around and the annual costs just doesn’t seem worth it to me. Especially living here in the Philippines.
Here is just one Philippine dentist (in Davao City) whom I know does good work for foreigners in the Philippines …
And here’s another Philippine dental service (in Quezon City, Manila) that I have personal experience with. Honest, competent dental work … this dentists even includes lodging and transportation to and from appointments as part of his services …
There are thousands of others to choose from. Compare those sample prices with what you pay in the US, and tell me why it is worth carrying ANY dental insurance in the US … unless you don’t have a passport.
I can clearly see this is going to turn into several articles … because the obscene rates for insurance and the propensity I see in Americans to massively over insure certainly deserves further treatment.
Here’s a rather astounding graphic I came across looking at insurance prices. I urge you to click on it and see the breadth and scope of just one web site’s offerings. You folks back there are buying and paying for types of insurance I didn’t even know existed. Amazing.
Couple closing thoughts … in reference to my post about retirement planning a few days ago. Health insurance doesn’t mean you live longer.
We all die, and most of us eventually die from some health-related condition.
Will paying $13,000 USD per year or even more assure you that you will live longer than someone paying $1,000 USD per year in the Philippines?
(have you got any facts to back up your opinion?)
Remember, when considering the quality of health care .. the US is number one in only a single area … costs.
In terms of medical care quality .. as reported by the World Health Organization (a UN and thus largely US-funded independent third-party evaluator), the US ranks a dismal 37th worldwide.
Remember too, when thinking about buying this, that, or the other sort of insurance. You can’t afford to insure against everything … and it often doesn’t make any sense to.
Life consists of risks and choices. It makes sense to insure against certain risks … and each of us owes it to ourselves to “assure” ourselves that the choices we make on what risks to “Insure” against make sense … as always, YMMV.