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Reader's View: Health insurance is not health care

What is health care? I would say that is when a person comes into contact with a provider, either verbally or physically, and receives a service. This may be diagnostic, preventive, or medically or surgically related. Care is given.

Health insurance is a system through which that care is partially paid for. Insurance is a pooling of resources. In health care, healthy people pay to the pool and those less healthy are taken care of. This is similar to car insurance, where the accident-free contribute to a pool paying for the unfortunate folks who crash. Similarly, homeowners who never make a claim give to the pool for those who do. Insurance is a business based upon probability, possibility, and experience — a sound business model. If an insurance company doesn’t make enough money, it leaves the market. That simple.

So why do insurance companies include “care” in their names, like UCare and United Health Care? Is your health and taking care of your health the priority of insurance companies? I’m guessing it is not a top priority.

Yet, the media, including the News Tribune, label insurance as health care, which it is not.

I would implore at least the News Tribune to appropriately refer to the payer as health insurance and to those who provide care as health care. Because, really, care and insurance don’t belong in the same sentence.

George M. Balach

Duluth

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