A little more than a week ago, I had the privilege of acting as master of ceremonies for the annual symposium of my friends at the Florida Association of Health Underwriters. In that capacity, I was asked to give a wrap-up talk and to send everyone on their way with a positive message. As we know all too well, positivity is a pretty rare commodity in today’s health broker and agent community.
I chose to repeat a message that I had used in a speech back in 1993, during the height of the discussions on the Clinton health care plan. The discussion back then was nowhere near as vitriolic and destructive as it was in this latest go around, yet the industry was gut punched nonetheless. Back then, I closed my talks by reminding the audience of the tremendous amount of good they do for their clients. The work they do keeps people from physical and financial ruin — and, for that, they should always be proud.
Little did I know that, mere days later, I would be sitting in a hospital watching my (decidedly) better half receive treatment for leukemia. After a week of tests and more than a few doctors, the diagnosis was confirmed; a treatment plan was developed and begun. Yesterday, as she came back from surgery with a port in her head through which she’d receive some of her chemotherapy, it occurred to me.
Suddenly, out of the blue, I thought, “I wonder what all of this stuff costs?” I’ve been president of a third-party administrator and have seen my share of hospital claims. I know this is not going to be inexpensive. Yet my second thought was, “Wow, I am glad we have good insurance.” To be sure, a part of the bill will fall to us, but the real heavy lifting will be done by our insurance carrier. That only happened because an insurance professional worked with an employer to make it so.
The message to my Florida colleagues hit me square between the eyes. Don’t ever forget the amount of good you do. I sure won’t.