For the past two weeks, I’ve had time away from feeding articles onto the web to walk around New York, look around and talk to people.
People seem to be thinking more about insurance and retirement planning than they were a few years ago. But hazily.
Here’s a little of what I heard and saw.
1. Someone in Brooklyn is buying diabetes test strips.
Wellness and condition management programs are popular. Most of us like the idea of investing pennies in well-focused efforts that could prevent hundreds of dollars in medical bills, and untold misery.
But another, counter argument is that what most of us really want is more cash, and freedom to spend the cash how we want, not free goods and services that other, well-meaning people think we should want.
The diabetes test strip purchasing program could be evidence that, in some parts of Brooklyn, some people with diabetes might have more free and cheap diabetes test strips than they know what to do with and would just as soon have some more cash, thank you very much.
2. The subway is full of insurance ads.
The TV shows I watched seem to be full of ads for medicine and lawyers seeking victims of mesothelioma.
The subways were different: There, the advertiser poster slots all seemed to be full with posters for health insurance plans, and for PolicyGenius, a website consumers can use to buy life insurance, health insurance, long-term disability insurance and other types of coverage.
One health insurance company’s poster showed a to-do list: 1. Buy groceries. 2. Pick up the kids from daycare. 3. Buy health insurance.
The people next to me thought the poster meant the health insurance plan would buy groceries for the insureds and pick up their children from daycare. Those people liked the idea of a health plan doing the enrollees’ shopping and picking their children up from daycare very much.