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Health Care Insurance: Is it necessary?


Flight Director
Flight Instructor
I've been wondering about the 30-million or more Americans who do not have health insurance and have been curious how this influences those of us with insurance. I'm also curious if insurance is even cost effective.

An argument is that health care costs are high because of the uninsured. Is this an accurate statement? If costs are spread out over everyone who uses the services then I suspect full-cost accounting practices would suggest the costs for everyone are important. However, if we just look at the individual then we might ask - am I just paying for my own services through the purchase of insurance?

Another argument is about the need for profit; should insurance companies and health care providers use a profit model? If I were unscrupulous then I'd simply want everyone to be sick and constantly using my services. I would sit back and enjoy the profits. So what is stopping this from happening? Maybe nothing.

A question which bothers me is: Is insurance necessary?

If I become ill and choose not to have insurance then do I just bankrupt myself or does it harm others? If I choose not to pay for monthly insurance premiums then is it possible to even put money aside?

Consider that approximately $1000 per month is set aside for health insurance. Over the past 10 years, I've put in over $100,000 into insurance. Will this money ever be returned? Well - if I become ill with a terminal disease and a for-profit hospital bills me at a huge rate then the $100,000 is probably not enough and I'll end up being broke anyway. Heck, I'll be dead and it will not matter. Maybe it matters to my family. Hmm.

So - what are the benefits to having health insurance?

Robert Heiny

Research Scientist of Learning and Education
Flight Instructor
Good question with simple answers. First, health insurance covers a bet you place on your future health. You buy insurance to hedge that bet, to cover costs for treatments you anticipate needing, if certain things happen to your body. No, health insurance is not necessary for you, as long as you remain healthy. However, the insurance company pools your money with premiums paid by other people and uses it to pay for costs someone else incurred beyond what their premiums covered for their health treatments. At its core, health insurance is covering a bet, a form of gambling. Yes?