Hospitals and life insurance professionals: Working together to empower high risk patients

The debate about health care reform, and the vital role hospitals play in this discussion, must also include a conversation about life insurance.
Specifically, there are High Risk candidates – people with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and obesity – who can benefit from the educational outreach hospitals should offer.

So, rather than have the health of these individuals continue to worsen, which increases hospitals stays, taxes already strained resources and makes insurance more expensive for everyone, a partnership can arise to make the sick well; and ensure that these same people qualify for life insurance.
I applaud hospitals that are at the forefront of this effort, and I encourage more of them to do likewise. I support this plan because, as an insurance professional and as the Founder of Local Life Agents, I meet with or speak to High Risk applicants (for life insurance) on a daily basis.
These people suffer from a variety of illnesses, some of them reversible, provided agents can speak truth to power.

Meaning: If an agent has an action sheet from a major university or teaching hospital, which details how a person with Type II Diabetes or high blood pressure or bad cholesterol can dramatically improve their health, I can help that individual become eligible for less expensive policies – and markedly improve their life expectancy.
Yes, indeed, a hospital's name or logo can take existing information – material patients can easily find online – and capture people's attention in a way no other institution can match.
For example: If the Cleveland Clinic (or Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) were to actively engage insurance agents, perhaps by hosting a daylong seminar about ways to better communicate with High Risk applicants, the results would be twofold.

One, agents would have a more thorough understanding of the personal toll concerning an individual's battle with inflammatory bowel disease or breast cancer; he or she would have greater sympathy for, as well as increased respect and admiration on behalf of, patients afflicted with lupus or arthritis, or asthma or those undergoing dialysis.

Secondly, High Risk patients would have information they would trust – never underestimate the power of a hospital's prestige to influence personal behavior – and they would have a plan to take control of their health.
This scenario proves a broader point: That health insurance and life insurance are two faces of the same coin; that actions (of omission, like the failure to reduce the threat of stroke or heart attack) affect outcomes; that hospitals become triage centers for tens of millions of people; that health care costs accelerate, bankrupting individuals and families, unless we change course.
This opportunity allows hospitals to have a positive impact on the long-term health of adults and seniors, while serving as an authority on wellness issues in general.
Insurance agents are, in this dynamic, the representatives of intelligence and wisdom.
As advocates for the respective hospitals that treat their clients, insurance agents can work with patients to make health a priority. And, given the frequency with which I correspond or speak with clients, there can be a true revolution involving health care.
With education and patience (for each patient), hospitals, insurers and life insurance agents can motivate High Risk candidates to make consistent progress towards lessening or ending several chronic illnesses.

The benefits would be universal, a cause for celebration among hospitals and physicians nationwide.

Best of all, patients could rejoice in their acceptance of that greatest of gifts known as Good Health.

Let us begin this campaign.

Let hospitals and insurance agents lead us to victory.

As the Founder of Local Life Agents, Brad Cummins offers the wisdom and personalized service his clients deserve. This philosophy defines Brad's entrepreneurial spirit and successful brand of business leadership. From starting his own agency from scratch, for Farmers Insurance Group in 2005, which he later sold in 2014, to his nationwide launch of Local Life Agents, Brad customizes solutions for his clients. A graduate of Ohio State University, Brad and his wife and son reside in Columbus Ohio.

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