My life insurance ran out the other day. I did my best to get killed accidentally before I turned 55 but it just didn’t work. It was a sweet policy, too. I paid $132 a month and if I had died then my wife would have gotten $2M.
You can bet I never told her that.
So I went online and started searching for some new life insurance. I found a somewhat deal, which is what you’d expect hunting for life insurance at 55 instead of at 38, $250 a month for the same benefit, $2M. So I applied for it.
Turns out I had to get a physical exam. They sent a lady out with a bag full of equipment and a bunch of forms. She ran through the diseases but I didn’t have any of them. “Ever commit suicide?” she asked me with a straight face.
“Not lately,” I answered.
It is amazing how many things can go wrong, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, as it were, and she asked me about all of them. Then she came to the medical treatment part. “This is gonna take a while,” she said.
“We have to go through every doctor or healthcare provider you’ve seen in the last five years.”
“All of them?”
“All of them,” she said with finality.
Yasuko popped her head in. “You aren’t going to find anything. He is very healthy. Healthy like a dog. He is the healthiest person I have ever seen.”
The lady was skeptical. “Really?”
“Oh,yes. We have a saying in Japanese, ‘Dummies never catch cold.'”
I told the lady about my three medical visits. The ER and ortho when I had my bicycle-falling-off-incident and broke my nutsack, and a trip to the skin doc to have a lesion looked at. She wrote it all down. “What else?”
“That’s it,” I said.
“That’s it? For the last five years?”
“No,” I said. “That’s it for the last 30.”
But I had been wondering, as she asked me about cancer and strokes and high blood pressure and suicide and alcohol and drugs and tobacco and all that etcetera, wondering why she never asked about anything good? You know like, “Do you exercise? Do you eat whole grains? How often do you floss? Do you go to church? Do you have a pet? Do you sleep seven hours? Do you nap? Do you have sex often? Do you drink moderate amounts of alcohol and coffee? Do you hang out with your grandkids?”
All of these things correlate with longevity, and you’d think that someone about to write a life insurance policy would want to know about factors that might affect how long you live … or maybe they wouldn’t, when it comes to factors that extend life, because the life insurer is only betting that you won’t die before the average life expectancy. They don’t care if you live beyond it, they only care if you don’t live long enough and they have to pay the death benefit.
Still, the whole thing reflects a health “care” system that focuses on what’s broken and wrong rather than what is healthy and right. Kind of puts the emphasis on the wrong thing, if you ask me.