Friday 9 March 2012

Thieves and Charlatans

I just finished watching a show that was talking about the travel insurance industry. The show talked about a couple that had purchased insurance, but because of a couple of errors on the form the claim for $300,000 plus was denied. The error that they made had nothing to do with the heart attack which hospitalized the gentleman, but was a gastrointestinal problem. I guess that any error on the form will void the coverage.

The problem seems to be that we aren’t doctors/lawyers which you would have to be in order to make sense of the questionnaire. The form will ask if you had an EKG to treat a health problem. I would say no, but I have had one which was trying to discover what was the cause of an on going health issue. That would more than likely void my insurance, because I just don’t know what they were even looking for. Not my job!

I don’t know why I am surprised that the insurance companies do these kinds of questionable activities, because it is their nature. What bothers me the most I suppose is that our government allows this practice to continue unchecked. The way I see it is that we elect our politicians in part to protect us from being ripped off by thieves and charlatans.

A civilization needs specialization of its members in order to function at a high level. I don’t expect everyone to know what is involved in getting a parcel from here to the Ukraine, and I can’t sew a pair of pants and a shirt for myself to wear tomorrow. I could learn, but it isn’t necessary because there are others that know how. Just like I don’t know if that medication the doctor gave me for anxiety is also a medication used for weak hearts which would void my insurance if I had a heart attack out of country. In my mind, our insurers should be the ones that make the policies clear and simple. Whenever making a profit is the driving force behind an industry and the CEO is answerable to investors and not the clients, this is the kind of treatment we get.

I can’t help but wonder why the Canadian government won’t regulate the insurance companies and make them answerable for ripping us off. Hmmmm….I wonder if there is money going to re-election campaigns and maybe even out and out corruption. I have very little faith in the government to do what is right and even less faith that the insurance companies will do the right thing.

The answer? You know, I just don’t know. I thought that I would say you have to do your own research and know your medical history, but for most people that just isn’t a reasonable thing to ask. I guess if you call your insurance company, record the conversation (for quality control), have your doctor on the other line to answer any and all medical questions that might come up, you just might get it right. Maybe.

The only sure way to beat the system is to not get sick while on vacation. Stay healthy and check out the Marketplace episode online, it is a real eye opener.

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