When it comes to politics, my parents have always believed in smaller, redder and more elephant like governmental policies. So when the new healthcare plan that for better or worse would allow me to remain on my parent’s insurance for another two years came into place, they weren’t exactly persuaded.
"Maggie, we started paying for our own insurance when we were seven and back then the premiums were much higher and up hill both ways with homemade shoes. We bandaged our own broken arms without any advil or narcotics. Well, maybe narcotics but absolutely no advil. If we didn’t have better music and stronger morals we never would’ve made it."
Or something like that. The “being married now” thing didn’t help my case much either. As if marriage is synonymous with financial stability. Dream on, engaged couples.
So last week, Steven and I met with a real, live insurance agent, paisley tie and all.
He was nice enough, I suppose, but much too tan for February in Colorado which was our first red flag. Or orangey brown flag, rather.
We spoke first of premiums which is a misleading word because at this time in my life I hear it used most often when referring to something of highest quality or value. Like a really good cup of coffee or box of chocolates or nice lotion.
For those of you who, like me, are new to the wonderful world of the insured, this is not the case. Premium does not refer to a great latte or thorough moisturizer but to money you give the insurance man every month to ensure that if heaven forbid you get cancer or have a heart attack or become mentally unstable than they will try and help after you pay another $5,000 to $25,000 dollars. The latter number which I am pretty sure I haven’t collectively made in my entire life.
So if none of those heaven forbidden accidents ever happens to you and you are in a similar economic bracket to ours, than you are basically taking a quarter or so of your paycheck every month and donating it to the insurance man’s account at Miracle Tan. No matter he earned more in the hour he spoke with you than you will make in the next two weeks.
But if the heaven forbidden accident does in fact occur to you and for some reason you don’t have the first $5 to $25 k hanging out in your “just for fun” account than you are indebted the entire amount to the insurance company which will take you the majority of adulthood to pay off. And once you do, you’ll find yourself paying back the 20 percent of the expenses they took on after that because you didn’t read the fine print because you were so distracted by the paisley tie and radiant skin tone.
Neither scenario at any point includes a good latte.
Looking at it as lose/lose, however, would do me no good because whether I like it or not the responsible adult thing to do is to have an insurance policy and so I might as well like it and maybe even learn something along the way.
And look at the bright side. I could get a rare skin disease that requires hundreds of expensive medications and they’ll only cost me $15 a piece (which is perhaps why the agent we met feels so comfortable at the tanning salon).
Okay I know the tanning jokes are tired and I’m not giving the man much grace. But not without reason. At the end of our consultation, we told him before any payments were to be made or applications processed we wanted to shop around and get back to him. Which he took to mean that if he didn’t hear from us in three days he’d save us the phone call and go ahead and send in the application for a small $160 fee. How very thoughtful.
Don’t worry numerous readers. Steven called him and after a few short words we stopped the application process and the charge never even came through. Which is lucky for the man’s paisley clad neck.
Which also means we are back on the insurance hunt, trying to weigh premiums with benefits with health concerns with the amount of time we want to spend talking with those that sell them. And until we’ve made a decision I am being very careful not to trip or get really sick or go bungee jumping or eat poison. Let me know if you know of any other dangerous activities to avoid and please don’t hit me with your car.
*photo courtesy of Insurance Quotes 911.