Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Healthcare and Insurance (3)

Longitudinal Dimension
People tend to assume they are taking our insurance over their lifetime. They assume their no claim years when they are young entitle them to make big claims when they are older. However, insurance companies work on an annual basis. They use the premiums from the no-claim people in any year, to pay for the high claim people in that year. They do not hold reserves to meet the needs of no-claims people in their later years.

People view their insurance longitudinally, but insurance companies manage risk year by year. That creates confusion about entitlement. The person who says, “I have paid premiums all my life, so I am entitled to something back now I am old” does not understand the way insurance companies do their accounting.

Followers of Jesus
The insurance model does not work, because medical risk is hard to share. The single-payer model is compulsory sharing, which is hard to justify. Jesus model was voluntary sharing in a community united by love.

The members of Kingdom Community could commit to paying for the healthcare of everyone living within their neighbourhood, regardless whether they are following Jesus or not. Everyone in the community should commit to paying for the healthcare of others living within it, according as they have need, and means. That would be loving one another, as Jesus loved us.

The good Samaritan showed how it could be done. He rescued the wounded man from where he lay on the side of the road. He took him to an inn and paid for him to be cared for until he was well.

Christians should be seeking creative ways to pay for the healthcare of people of living in their neighbourhoods.

The inter-generational sharing needed for healthcare should take place within families, because they have the commitment and loyalty needed to manage costs across time. This sharing is better done within a wider family, as a nuclear family will not have sufficient resources.

Most health care expenses occur towards the end of life. The best place for managing risk across time is within a wider family. Children have significant expenses for education. When they are first married, a couple have significant expenses for setting up their home and raising their family. Late middle age is a time when earning power is greatest and expenses have reduced because children have left home. Old age is a period of significant expenses for health care. Families can manage expenses across time, by caring for elderly parents when they are at the stage of peak earning.

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