August 30, 2018
Awareness: The Best Insurance Policy
by Lewis Fein
Insurers should support organizations whose mission is to save lives by teaching life-saving techniques. Be champions of change.
Awareness is the best insurance policy. It saves costs by saving lives. It is as important to the fate of the insurance industry as it is to fate of the entire nation. The awareness I refer to comes from recognizing the risks we face and the ways we can solve them, starting with the one thing that is both portable and invaluable: education.
The more educated a person is, in terms of his or her ability to perform a life-saving procedure such as CPR, the safer everyone will be. Put another way, the education of one translates into economic rewards for many—from fewer hospitalizations and lower medical fees to more affordable health insurance and better options in general. Or: Sometimes, the most practical skills are the most profitable.
CPR is such a skill, which not only save lives but strengthens communities. For those communities most in need of help, where first responders are too far away to be the first ones on the scene, the person who knows CPR is the man or woman who can save a life.
Compare that scenario with the alternative, where an ambulance belatedly arrives and the patient hovers between life and death. Picture that patient in a hospital, unable to breathe without a ventilator and unresponsive to the simplest gestures. Whether that patient is rich or poor is no matter, not when the richness of life itself vanishes and medical bills are a matter for insurers to pay or to decline to cover altogether.
If insurers want to avoid that scenario, they should invest in what works. They should support organizations whose mission is to save lives by teaching life-saving techniques.
See also: A Road Map for Health Insurance
According to Mackenzie Thompson of National Health Care Provider Solutions (NHCPS): “Interest in learning how to perform CPR is a global initiative. From Africa to the Americas, every village or township needs to be empowered with life-saving knowledge. In fact, more people from the U.S. access our online certification courses on CPR than any other nation. If saving lives saves insurers money, all the better.”
I agree with that statement, as it is neither too complex to achieve nor too controversial to accomplish. In other words, teaching CPR does not involve creating or maintaining huge bureaucracies. It does not involve legislation that divides the public or strains people’s finances. It does not take too much time to practice or too many practitioners to attract supporters.
Do not underestimate, also, the power of goodwill. Which is to say the insurance industry has everything to gain—and nothing to lose—by popularizing what is good for its beneficiaries and a benefit to itself: life.
The healthier people are, the less costly it is (or should be) to insure them. The happier they will then be, too, because they are alive and well.
If insurers want to see the ROI on CPR, they should look to the individuals who owe their lives to this procedure.
They should look to promote CPR in every county, city and state.
They should look at themselves as champions of change.