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Insurance 101

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I’m not fan of Intermountain Healthcare, but I have to strongly disagree with Paul Taylor’s letter [“Gouged and Unthanked,” March 12, City Weekly]. Does he understand how insurance works? For instance, if homeowner’s insurance is priced so one house in 1,000 burns down in a fire, what happens to everyone’s rates if two or five or 10 burn? All of our rates go up, even if it wasn’t my house that burned.

Health insurance is the same, except that we all utilize our health insurance much more than other kinds. Health insurance has become a reflection of what it cost to deliver health care—the treatments themselves. Health insurance has almost begun to not function as insurance, because we make $15 or $20 copays to go to the doctor instead of using it only when we have to be hospitalized. We don’t insure flat tires and windshield wipers on our auto insurance because it would be too expensive. We usually ask our agent after we’ve had an accident what it will do to our rates if we report it, because we know they are going up.

Health insurance is no different; we just view it differently. Taylor should be glad he didn’t use much of his coverage but can be glad it was there in case something catastophic happened (which is what we should have it for).

Howard Wilkin
Salt Lake City

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