Why Letting An Impersonal Insurance Company Determine Your Worth Is CrazyMarch 1, 2021
Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Insurance Determine What Your Health Is Worth
In Canada, we are very fortunate to have Universal healthcare available to us, but when it comes to extended health benefit programs, all are not created equally. Extended health programs through your place of employment, or third part companies create annual maximum spends for individuals and their family members, as well as per-visit dollar amount coverage, or percentage coverage, essentially dictating your worth.
If you find yourself looking for healthcare alternatives outside regular Canadian health benefits, you have probably noticed that specialized testing (i.e. food sensitivity testing, salivary or urinary hormone testing) and hourly rates with your naturopathic doctor can appear to be a hefty investment at first glance.
Can you really put a price on the quality of your life?
We are very quick, in North America, to trade our time, health and well-being to make a ‘living.’ We are also quick to use our hard-earned money for things that make us feel better in the moment (i.e. a daily latte, a new shirt, aesthetic treatments). In contrast, we are hesitant to invest in our personal health, longevity and quality of life.
When we allow a system or program to determine the warranted cost of our health, we lose the ability to put ourselves first, and truly take care of ourselves and our family members. We are then at the mercy of the goodwill and generosity of those in charge of the system built to take care of us.
If you’ve already been seeking out alternative healthcare options, such as naturopathic doctors, chiropractors, physiotherapists, registered massage therapists, and/or registered clinical counsellors, for your health and well-being, you have probably seen the cost of these services, and maybe had the thought “wow, that’s so expensive.”
Aren’t you worth it?
You’ve probably had a good reason to seek out these services. Maybe you have a condition that is difficult to treat, and you can’t find the proper care within the regular Health Canada system, or you are experiencing symptoms that no one has been able to diagnose or treat.
At what point does it become “too expensive” to heal yourself? The value of being better, feeling good, and living a life of good quality should be more than X-dollar amount of money.
When you try to stay within the dollar value that a third party insurance company has assigned to you, you’re making your life worth only $300-$1000.
If you were to compare your extended health benefits program with your friends, you might find that the total available to each of you is completely different. For example, Susie might get $1000 per year to see her naturopathic doctor, $500 for her chiropractor, and $300 for her physiotherapist. While Joannie gets $300 for her naturopathic doctor, $1000 for her chiropractor and $0 for physiotherapy, but $300 for registered massage therapy. Does that mean that Susie is worth more or more important than Joannie, or vice versa? No, of course not. But when we try to live and spend within these parameters that have been set by a third part company with no actual interest or investment in us, we are hurting ourselves.
Extended benefit health programs are fantastic, and we are fortunate to have them available to us. But those programs are set up by insurance companies. They aren’t created by healthcare practitioners, or even someone who’s taken an anatomy course or knows anything about the human body, let alone your personal health conditions. We should definitely use the coverage that we’ve got, because we pay into with every pay cheque. But if that’s all the investment we’re willing to put into ourselves, our mental health, physical health and spiritual health, we’re not going to get very far. And we’re probably not going to feel very good.
It’s up to us, as individuals, to invest in ourselves.
When you read and learn about financial planning and investing, the most common advice is to “pay yourself first.” This means to put money aside for your investments and retirement automatically so that you are forced to save it, and to save for the future. Your personal healthcare should be very similar. Create a monthly budget for yourself to take care of yourself with your healthcare practitioners.
Are you treating your car better than you treat yourself?
We have gotten very used to the fact that we have to pay for car insurance, because it is against the law to drive without it. And we take our vehicles in for regular maintenance, and oil changes because we know that if we don’t maintain our vehicles, it can be very expensive to take care of later.
So, why haven’t we adopted this same mentality to care for ourselves? Why are we waiting for things to fall apart and symptoms to build up, and our lives become negatively affected before we ask for help?
If we are going to remain healthy and strong, and live long, healthy and happy lives, we need to start putting ourselves first and planning to take care of ourselves BEFORE the symptoms start and take over!
Because regular maintenance of ourselves costs a lot less than trying to treat and reverse chronic conditions.