Thursday, November 07, 2013

Insuring Without Risk

One of the features of “health care reform” is that it mandates what every policy must cover, including such things as pregnancy, addiction treatment, etc. This is widely applauded as preventing insurance companies from offering “junk policies” which don’t adequately cover people, and are compared to government safety standards mandated for automobiles.

The weakness of that defense is that while the government mandates safety standards for cars, it doesn’t mandate features. All cars have to have brakes, and the government mandates standards for the type of brakes that are furnished, for instance, but the government does not mandate that all cars must have air conditioning.

In its mandate that all policies must provide things such as birth control, the government is mandating features, not standards. A single male, for instance, would prefer to buy a policy that excludes that feature, since single males are exceedingly unlikely to become pregnant, and don’t carry health insurance for their girlfriends. The government requires, however, that any health insurance which they buy be priced on the basis that the insurer might have to pay the cost of the insured’s birth control and/or pregnancy.

In obtaining insurance for our home, we chose to include earthquake insurance but not flood insurance because we live in Southern California, which is long overdue for an earthquake but has not been hit by a hurricane in recorded history, and we are two hundred feet above the San Diego River flood plain. Using the “health care reform” mandate guidelines, we would be required to carry equal amounts of hurricane and flood insurance, because risk is not part of the equation.

Insuring against that for which you are not at risk; priceless.

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