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Unread 01-26-2004, 04:45 PM   #1
Jude
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Insurance

any letters or responses from the Rebbe about a Chasid having insurance (health, life, fire)?

is having insurance considered a lack of bitachon? an essential element in hishtadlus?

re Life Insurance - on the one hand it's practical, it helps the widow and children if a breadwinner dies, and then people don't have to raise tzedaka for them

on the other hand, it's a morbid bet with the insured "saying" - betcha I'll die, and the insurance company saying hope you won't

another factor I've heard mentioned - having or not having Life Insurance, for example, becomes part of what Hashem takes into account when deciding someone's fate, i.e. if the person's death would put his family into the poor house, then one thing might happen, whereas if the family would become wealthy upon the person's death, another decision might be made Above
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Unread 01-26-2004, 04:59 PM   #2
rebayzl
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THe Rebbe metions Life Insurance calculations when he deals with Yedi'a UBechirah.

I am pretty sure that the Rebbe had insurance on his house, and medical insurance.

So it's not lack of Bitachon.
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Unread 01-26-2004, 05:21 PM   #3
EtzChaim613
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I somewhat recently heard of a Lubavitcher couple who refused to have health insurance for themselves and their six children on the basis that it showed a lack of bitachon. I absolutely do not agree that it is a lack of bitachon. I believe that health insurance is absolutely essential and having it protects your family both physically and financially in case of tragedy and disaster.

What will happen if they or their children get sick/have an accident/etc and need expensive medical procedures performed on them? Although the doctors and nurses will most likely perform such procedures, especially in an emeregency situtation for free, why should they have to perform such procedures without pay? Will the care that is received be quality if the hospital/doctors/nurses know that they will not be paid? (Note that this family has considerable debt and will not be able to pay out of pocket).

Is it unethical to forgo health insurance based on one's vision of lack of bitachon only to leave the unpaid bills to be picked up by the taxpayers, a tzedakah organization, or the hospital and its staff?

Many employers require health insurance. Businesses view health insurance for their employees and their families as essential for maintaining a healthy workforce. If one is able to somehow forgo the requirement to either take out health insurance through the employer's policy or through a separate provider, is it ethical to not do so?

Interesting discussion.
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Unread 01-26-2004, 06:24 PM   #4
Jude
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Quote:
Note that this family has considerable debt and will not be able to pay out of pocket
then how can they afford health insurance?
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Unread 01-26-2004, 06:45 PM   #5
iamachassid
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Re: Insurance

<<on the other hand, it's a morbid bet with the insured "saying" - betcha I'll die, and the insurance company saying hope you won't >>

Jude, I love your dry sense of humor!
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Unread 01-26-2004, 11:19 PM   #6
chassidus
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I would imagine that this would be the same as going to a doctor, or general financial issues: You should do what the best qualified professional says (although you should only do so because the Torah says to).

Quote:
Originally posted by EtzChaim613
I somewhat recently heard of a Lubavitcher couple who refused to have health insurance for themselves and their six children on the basis that it showed a lack of bitachon. I absolutely do not agree that it is a lack of bitachon. I believe that health insurance is absolutely essential and having it protects your family both physically and financially in case of tragedy and disaster.

What will happen if they or their children get sick/have an accident/etc and need expensive medical procedures performed on them? Although the doctors and nurses will most likely perform such procedures, especially in an emeregency situtation for free, why should they have to perform such procedures without pay? Will the care that is received be quality if the hospital/doctors/nurses know that they will not be paid? (Note that this family has considerable debt and will not be able to pay out of pocket).

Is it unethical to forgo health insurance based on one's vision of lack of bitachon only to leave the unpaid bills to be picked up by the taxpayers, a tzedakah organization, or the hospital and its staff?
EitzChaim613, remember that G-d is the one that runs everything and there is no reason to fear tragedy. After all, only G-d can make something happen, and only G-d can make things turn out all right. To believe otherwise, gives nature its own existence. This is akin to idolatry or shituf.

After all, health insurance doesn't insure one's health, and it doesn't insure that doctors will be able to help. On the contrary, sometimes doctors make things worse. I know someone that got sicker from a blood infection contracted as a result of an improperly sterilized IV than from the surgery or disease. It was a miracle that the patient survived. All because of bad packaging of one IV, or some nurses negligence. Similarly, I heard that in England when the doctors went on strike the death rate went down!

Tragedy and poverty should not be feared, only G-d should be. I'm not saying that I live up to this altruism, but the discussion is based on this premise. Indeed, this premise that everything is solely in G-d's hands is true. The only thing is that G-d wants us to play along with nature--without believing in it. This seeming paradox is only possible when someone cultivates a true trust in G-d. Then, they don't see natural means as contradicting this trust.

In all such cases, those that choose nature over trust, or trust over nature, suffer from the same problem: they both see trust and nature (or G-d and nature) as contradicting each other. This, however, is not the case.
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Unread 01-26-2004, 11:29 PM   #7
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Isn't there a segulah for long life in buying a cemetary plot?

Perhaps insurance is similar
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Unread 01-26-2004, 11:46 PM   #8
RebYid
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Quote:
Originally posted by chassidus
I heard that in England when the doctors went on strike the death rate went down!
Here we go again! Where is YN, this is right up his alley.

http://yarchive.net/med/doctor_strikes.html
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Unread 01-27-2004, 01:58 PM   #9
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This Mendelsohn is looking only at the narrow picture--expand the scope of the study and you will find that all the patients died (eventually), as well as the doctors, nurses, and statisticians!

Don't put me in with either the kalte cynics or the nutty tinfoil people; I stand firmly with what chassidus writes above.
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Unread 01-27-2004, 02:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by chassidus
In all such cases, those that choose nature over trust, or trust over nature, suffer from the same problem: they both see trust and nature (or G-d and nature) as contradicting each other. This, however, is not the case.
Another way to say this: in both cases, they are denying that "Hashem hu ha'Elokim" and asserting pirud. The job of a Jew is to takka reveal Hashem within the natural (i.e., haTeva, gematria Elokim). When we avoid doing things "b'derech haTeva," we aren't doing that.
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Unread 01-27-2004, 03:25 PM   #11
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the medical discussion, though interesting, is not what this thread is about
maybe someone wants to start a new thread about medicine and deaths

see here for shocking facts about deaths due to iatrogenic causes - published in JAMA which is the largest and one of the most respected medical journals in the entire world.

back to the topic, Insurance:

I would welcome further explanations from Chassidus and Yankel Nosson about:

Quote:
In all such cases, those that choose nature over trust, or trust over nature, suffer from the same problem: they both see trust and nature (or G-d and nature) as contradicting each other. This, however, is not the case.
specifically, why you're saying that someone who chooses bitachon (trust in G-d) over nature (buying insurance) suffers from the same problem as one who chooses nature over bitachon. Perhaps an elaboration on what it means that they both see trust and nature as contradicting one another.

how a person who chooses to trust in Hashem denies Hashem!

And what it means to "reveal Hashem within the natural" in practical terms so any poster can understand it.
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Unread 01-27-2004, 03:35 PM   #12
iamachassid
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jude


then how can they afford health insurance?
Perhaps they are being offered it as part of salary. A lot of times considerable debt is put on the back burner and things like insurance and considered priorities. It seems like insurance would be a squeeze but it's an option.
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Unread 01-28-2004, 02:29 PM   #13
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A student of Rav Avigdor Miller z'l was thinking of getting a million dollar life insurance policy for himself. He said to Rav Miller, "What could be better? When I leave this world, I'll leave the Mirrer yeshiva a million dollars!"

But Rav Miller advised him against it. He warned him not to underestimate the prayers of the roshei yeshiva.

"If they need money and pray hard and you took out that policy -- you may be doing yourself in," Rav Miller cautioned him.

He advised him to pray instead to make enough money so he could give the Mirrer Yeshiva a million dollars himself. Although he never made that kind of money, the man nevertheless always gave much charity to the Mirrer Yeshiva.
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Unread 01-28-2004, 02:32 PM   #14
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Health insurance is more than just if c"hv somebody gets a serious illness. I don't know how many people can afford to pay a family's worth of well-baby visits, dentist, eye-doctors, prescriptions etc.
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Unread 01-28-2004, 02:41 PM   #15
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Affordable policies usually have big deductibles, though, which doesn't help much with these regular expenses.
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Unread 01-28-2004, 02:48 PM   #16
iamachassid
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In a family of 8 kids k"ah at all diferent ages and stages and two parents the expenses don't outweigh the deductible? ANd you never know when a kid will break his hand, someone will need their appendix out, if a baby r"l isn't born healthy.
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Unread 01-28-2004, 02:50 PM   #17
Jude
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and you need separate dental insurance

and depending on the cost of the insurance, and how often babies are born in that family, and family size, it can be a lot more expensive to pay for insurance than to pay as you go (just talking about routine expenses)

the main reason to have health insurance is for "catasrophic illness" and old age when there are typically many medical expenses. An additional reason, for frum people, is for obstetrics

Quote:
health insurance doesn't insure one's health
it's not intended to, just as fire insurance doesn't prevent fires, though there's truth to the fact that those with (non-govt.) health insurance may be treated better, both on a personal level as well as medically
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Unread 01-28-2004, 06:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jude
and depending on the cost of the insurance, and how often babies are born in that family, and family size, it can be a lot more expensive to pay for insurance than to pay as you go (just talking about routine expenses)
Jude--I have to disagree with your assessment. To share a little information, in my family we pay an additional $200 a month in health insurance in addition to what the employer pays. (This is a health insurance FAMILY PLAN, i.e. it covers a married couple plus any children the couple may have without additional costs).

My insurance has payed over $400 for one visit to the doctor that included a consultation and blood work. I paid a co-payment of $15. Fortunately my doctor visits have not included any complications.

The math is clear. We paid approximately $200 for health insurance for the month and we paid the doctor's office $15 for the visit. The health insurance company paid the doctor's office $400. Our savings: $185.

Health insurance is less expensive than routine expenses! In fact, I noted that my insurance company only paid approximately 60% of the amounts billed to the insurance for that single visit. It appears that the insurance company has an agreement with the doctor that I do NOT have. If I was responsible for the bill myself, I would have had to pay about $800 for that single visit plus bloodwork. Paying $200 extra for health insurance is a small trade off. (And, imagine if more than one family member went to the doctor that month).

I do not believe that my experiences are unusual.
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Last edited by EtzChaim613; 01-28-2004 at 06:19 PM.
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Unread 01-28-2004, 06:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jude
the main reason to have health insurance is for "catasrophic illness" and old age when there are typically many medical expenses. An additional reason, for frum people, is for obstetrics
Since we do not know HaShem's plan for us, it is detrimental to say. . . "I am young and healthy, therefore I will not purchase insurance because health insurance is for persons of old age or catasrophic illness."
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Unread 01-28-2004, 06:49 PM   #20
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Quote:
by EtzChaim613&trade;

In my family we pay an additional $200 a month in health insurance in addition to what the employer pays.
Not every Lubavitcher is working for an employer that provides this service.
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Unread 01-28-2004, 10:56 PM   #21
chassidus
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jude
specifically, why you're saying that someone who chooses bitachon (trust in G-d) over nature (buying insurance) suffers from the same problem as one who chooses nature over bitachon. Perhaps an elaboration on what it means that they both see trust and nature as contradicting one another.

how a person who chooses to trust in Hashem denies Hashem!

And what it means to "reveal Hashem within the natural" in practical terms so any poster can understand it.
It is not someone trusting in G-d over nature, rather someone that cannot reconcile trust with G-d and natural actions. For example, those that feel that we should only rely on G-d and pray, but not have a strong military. This view implies that our "actions and measures" detract from G-d's part. The truth is, however, that natural means are just as miraculous and miraculous means are just as natural. If I believe that when I take sword in hand and fight, this diminishes G-d's role in my victory, that shows that I don't believe that G-d's jurisdiction applies equally to nature as it does to the supernatural.

Someone that truly trusts in G-d views everything with complete equanimity. He knows that there is no direct connection to his actions and the results; rather it is all completely in G-d's hands. Therefore, there is no difference in his mind between one method and another. He realizes that making a vessel is like asking G-d to pass the salt, just like prayer is. G-d does not HAVE to do it (and if He doesn't the salt won't get passed), and HE can do it whether you ask or not. Only that G-d asked you to say please in a certain way. This is like choosing a language. The word choice is irelavant; it is the meaning assigned to it that counts. G-d wants us to ask for His blessings by playing along with nature, except when Torah says otherwise. And the whole reason for our involvement with nature is in order to refine the world around us.

As long as we keep this view, everything is fine.
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Unread 01-28-2004, 11:11 PM   #22
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You have it all backwards. G-d decides how much money He wants you to pay, then He figures out how He wants you to pay it. There is no way to secure you finances. Business, insurance, bills... it's all a facade. None of these things determine ANYTHING. They have no power, they have no say, they have no influence. To think otherwise is IDOLITARY.

This has to be the axiom that our discussion is based on. With this in mind, we ask: So why make a vessel at all? Why use natural means if they don't help? The answer and the ONLY answer, is because G-d said so.

This is like the famous question of how we are allowed to plant seeds; after all it is wasting food. We are throwing away food, when we have NO reason to believe that it will grow something, because nature has no say. Who says the sun will rise tomorrow? The answer is, because G-d said that the land should grow seeds. It is only because G-d said so that we believe that it will.
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Unread 01-29-2004, 12:32 PM   #23
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thanks for elaborating

you said earlier:

Quote:
I would imagine that this would be the same as going to a doctor, or general financial issues: You should do what the best qualified professional says (although you should only do so because the Torah says to).
if you need medical help, you go to a doctor
if you need financial advice, you go to a financial planner

what does that have to do with this question: whether or not to get insurance?
who should be asked? an insurance agent!?
who is qualified, professionally, to answer that question?
and there is no need to ask any professional, no matter his profession, because it's considered a given, that people ought to have insurance, and this sure ain't coming from a place of bitachon ...
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Unread 01-29-2004, 01:05 PM   #24
Yankel Nosson
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This raises the question of Hezekiah, and why did he sleep in the face of Sennacheriv's threat?
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Unread 01-29-2004, 01:16 PM   #25
Jude
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Quote:
Originally posted by EtzChaim613


Health insurance is less expensive than routine expenses! ...
I do not believe that my experiences are unusual.
health insurance for a family costs around $13,000 per year and there is a $20.00 copay each time.

1) how many families nowadays can afford that?

2) if a baby is on the way, that can cost plenty in doctor and hospital bills
but under otherwise normal circumstances, who would need $13,000 worth of medical care?
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