The insane must pay to be sane

by mariabravo on January 25, 2016 - 10:17pm


Everyone around the world wants to live life at its best health. Health is something everyone is somehow aware of and we all want to be able to get help if an unexpected illness, injury or some problem was to happen. Here in Canada we are lucky enough to have different companies like Desjardins, SunLife and Manulife that offers to people a life and health insurance so they can get help on getting covered for the treatments or other healthcare expenses that could come up after that.

When I hear life and health insurance I assume that all health issues are included, by that I mean all type of injuries, viruses, accidents, chronic illnesses, cancers, you name it. But after reading an article published on December 9th 2015 on CBC news written by Diana Swain and Marnie Luke I learned that I was wrong. The article got my attention mostly because of its title, “Suicide attempts and insurance: Why you might not be covered?”, I was absolutely surprised that insurance doesn’t actually work that way,I never thought there were policies excluding health problems and even less mental illnesses. I tried to understand what the point of view of this exclusionary policies was, but it is all nonsense to me, and I hope it is for most of the people who have read the article too. Basically what this policies say is that “insane” people do not qualify to insurance coverage, people who attempt suicide do not benefit from the insurance because it was a deliberated action and not an unexpected event, almost like if it was a crime and they should get punished, horrible right? Suicide is a very difficult thing people deal with, it’s far from being a game, it's a real problem as  much as cancer or any other illness, except that the damage is more mental than physical. Mental illness should be respected, treated and covered just as any other health issue.

What if we try to see this from another angle? What if we take another illness, such as lung cancer and create policies for that? Like saying that if the person suffering from cancer used to live a “sane” life the costs of the treatment will be fully covered, but if the person used to be a smoker, was eating a poor diet, drinking too much or simply having unhealthy habits, insurance won't cover the costs of this one because the cancer is the person's fault, it is the result of his actions. I am sure that for this case most people would disagree and react to it, so why agree to it when it comes to mental illness? Or what if the person was facing a cancer and tried to commit suicide. Would the insurance only cover the cancer treatment and then charge the fees for the damages the suicide attempt might have done or even the psychological help needed afterwards, cruel don’t you think? With this kind of examples I feel we can make more people understand how wrong this discriminatory policies really are and that one day this one’s have to be completely removed. It is the right to everyone to have access to financial help no matter what they are going through. This won’t happen overnight but I strongly believe that working together and understanding how bad this is, change will happen.