The news in Colorado for the past few weeks has been dominated by stories of wildfires, and there seems to be a new one every few days. Watching footage of houses burning and courageous firefighters battling the blazes definitely brings to mind all sorts of risk-related thoughts. We send our best wishes to everyone living in the areas that have been hit by the recent fires, and hopefully Colorado will get some good rain very soon. We’re very thankful for the firefighters and we’ve mixed in historic images of heroic firefighters from the past.
With that in mind, welcome to the 160th Cavalcade of Risk. We’ve been participating in the Cavalcade for nearly six years, and we’re always honored to get the privilege of hosting. The Cav is all about risk, and with that in mind I wanted to share one of the best articles I’ve seen in a long time on the topic of risk. Mr. Money Mustache lives just down the road from us, in Longmont. He’s got quite a way with words, and his blog is both informative and entertaining. This article that he wrote about the illusion of safety is a must-read.
Jason Shafrin, aka The Healthcare Economist, brings us a solemn article about suicide among veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sadly, more veterans have died from suicide than from enemy fire. This article sheds light on the very real need for better mental health support for our armed forces, both during and after their deployments.
In a similar sobering fashion, Julie Ferguson of Workers’ Comp Insider discusses domestic violence at work – both in terms of violence that occurs in workplaces and violence in homes or other locations that can result in injury or death for first responders. Julie describes the four main types of workplace violence – one of which is domestic violence – and explains why employer cannot afford (financially or morally) to ignore the problem of domestic violence in the workplace.
Switching to happier news, in a short – and very sweet – post, Hank Stern of InsureBlog shares a new study that found the secret to health is 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate every day. Sounds good! Of course, for optimal benefits, it should probably be combined with all that other stuff we know is good for us… good diet, plenty of exercise, water, sleep, etc. That includes red wine, right?
Jaan Sidorov runs the excellent Disease Management Care Blog, and gives us his thoughts on pharmaceutical company coupons. Drug copays are set by health insurance carriers to reflect the greater cost associated with brand name prescriptions, and the higher copays for brand name drugs usually serve as an incentive for patients to opt for lower copay generics. But if the pharmaceutical company provides coupons that mitigate most of the copay for the brand name drug, the end result is higher cost for health insurers. But Jaan wonders what would happen if the insurance carriers were to fight back and offer their own coupons? Whatever the outcome, it sounds like a good deal for patients. I also wanted to share Jaan’s thoughtful prediction for the future of the ACA. All of us in the health insurance and healthcare industries have been speculating for months as to what the Supreme Court will say about the law, and the wait is almost over. We’ll know tomorrow what the ruling is, although it’s anybody’s guess where everything will go from there, especially if the law is partially overturned and partially left alone. Now we just have to wait until tomorrow to see what the Justices have to say.
Our own contribution to this edition is an article about health insurance for seasonal fire fighters. There are wildfires burning all over Colorado right now, including an 87,000 acre monster 15 miles from here and the Waldo Canyon fire that is rapidly encroaching on Colorado Springs. The fires have already inflicted a lot of damage on the state, but it would be far greater without the efforts of the thousands of wildland fire fighters who are working around the clock to battle the blazes. But since many of them are seasonal employees, they don’t qualify for group health insurance. They can get coverage in the individual market, but they have to make sure that the plan they’re applying for doesn’t use occupational risk as a factor in underwriting.
A guest post by Gary Dekmezian on My Personal Finance Journey provides some great information on long term life insurance. Jay and I are fans of this time of life insurance, and the information in this article is well worth reading if you’re in need of affordable, basic life insurance. We have long term life insurance policies ourselves, and for most people they are the ideal solution for life insurance needs: a term long enough to cover the years when you have dependent children, but far less expensive than permanent life insurance.
My Wealth Builder writes about student loans, and the very real possibility of a student loan bubble (and bubbles do eventually pop) that could mirror the housing bubble that popped a few years ago. MWB offers a solution in the form of having student loan lenders take on more risk when it comes to the loans they are originating.
Jeff Rose of Good Financial Cents writes about the need personal liability insurance. He explains how umbrella coverage can provide asset protection for anyone, especially those with a high net worth. He also notes the importance of errors and omissions policies for self employed individuals who provide services that could possibly result in liability.
We hope you enjoyed these articles as much as we did. The next edition of the Cavalcade of Risk will be hosted by David Williams at Health Business Blog, so be sure to check that out next week.