Yesterday I was talking with a friend about what we would do if we had tons of money. One of those pie in the sky conversations that makes you thing about what’s important in life. Neither one of us is a big shopper – we’re both pretty frugal and didn’t think that would change much. We both talked about using our money to help others in need, and supporting causes that are close to our hearts. But then my friend said that she would still have to work full time in order to have health insurance. That surprised me. I can see wanting to continue working if you enjoy your job or the sense of fulfillment it offers, but just for the health insurance? This friend knows what I do for a living, and she and her husband are both pretty healthy. They’re in their 40s, both active, non-smokers, and neither of them goes to the doctor very often. I reminded my friend that we were talking about a situation where we would have lots of money, and reminded her that she could just buy her own health insurance. She said “I don’t know, I just can’t get my head around that.” This is a very competent career woman who managed a major department store prior to landing her current job. And yet the idea of shopping for her own health insurance scares her.
Obviously this seems odd to me, since I’ve had my own health insurance for years, and have been a health insurance agent for most of those years as well. I understand all of the policies that are offered in Colorado, and can pick up on their strengths and weaknesses after just a few minutes of glancing at a plan description. But my friend does have a very good point. If you’re not a health insurance agent, the individual health insurance arena can be a scary place to find yourself. Just like taxes, the Colorado health insurance market has become so complicated that it’s almost impossible to find the right policy without a broker or a lot of luck. But unlike taxes, there’s no charge to have a professional agent help you find the right policy. That should make it a little less scary anyway.