Insurance should not be prepayment for routine medical expenses.

by Joseph L. Bast

Joseph Bast is president of The Heartland Institute in Chicago.

To understand what lies at the heart of the failure of our current health-care financing system, imagine, if you can, what the world would be like if we tried to buy food the same way we buy health-care services.

You could go to work tomorrow morning and hear your boss tell you the following: The company has decided to offer a new benefit: hunger insurance. The company will purchase a hunger insurance policy for you that covers about 95 percent of your food costs whenever you enter a grocery store or restaurant, and a smaller share of the miscellaneous snacks and condiments you purchase from stree...

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A college education is an investment that pays off. According to The College Board's annual report, Trends in College Pricing, median annual income for bachelor's degree recipients is 80 percent higher than median income for those with only a high school diploma. Over a lifetime that difference exceeds $1,000,000.

Unfortunately, investing in a college education is seldom inexpensive. College planning has become increasingly important over the last decade, as college costs have skyrocketed at over twice the inflation rate.

College tuition and fees in the United States experienced an average annual inflation rate of 8.7% over the past 20 years, according to Department of Labor statistics. That's 3.8 percent more than the average annual infla...

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Once you have determined that you need life insurance, and calculated how much coverage you require, you will have to choose between several types of life insurance policies. There are two very different types of life insurance contracts -- term and permanent.

Term Insurance Overview

Term life insurance is often referred to as "pure insurance" because it involves only the payment of a premium in exchange for a promise to pay a death benefit in the event of your death while the contract is still in force.

Term life insurance provides protection for a specified maximum period of time and is usually renewable at the end of each period at progressively higher premiums. As you get older, your risk of dying increases, so the cost of term insurance goes up. Term insuran...

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Without health insurance, a single illness can cause serious, and often irrevocable, financial hardship.

Insurance of any kind is intended to transfer financial risk to an insurance company in exchange for a reasonable insurance premium. Where most insurance coverages pay once a loss has occurred, health insurance has the added benefit of paying to keep your loss from getting worse.

Health insurance is probably your most important coverage since it can be the difference between life and death.

Fortunately, most employers offer some form of health insurance. Often you will have to select from several different alternative plans with differing coverages and premiums.

There are two broad categories of health insurance coverage. One is fee-for-s...

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