As a Torah Im Derech Eretz site, we talk often here about the benefits of the best of the outside world. But since that world is so fraught with danger, we need to talk also about the dangers.
The world is packed with illusion, perhaps in this era of mass media more than ever. A farmer in 1910 might have seen a lying product ad or two, but most of his mind was on the crops. Today we swim in lies from the ads, from the media, from the government. The TIDE person has to know how bad it is if he is to continue to look for the good out there. We can't be naïve. And Americans are the most naïve people in history.
So let me talk about one specific lie/illusion/con. It's called short-term disability and comes to you from the ever lying insurance industry.
I'll cut right to the ending of the story. Here's how short-term
disability works. The company denies your claim in nearly every case
regardless of the evidence but tells you of your right to
appeal. However, the appeal can take up to 90 days, which is the
maximum length of short-term disability anyway. Unless you are rich,
you can't live without a paycheck for three months, which is the best
case scenario because they will likely deny your appeal anyway, in
which case you lose the income forever. But if you go back to work,
even if pain, even at the expense of your health, they deny your
So the bottom line is this: STD is useless to all but the rich who
don't need the money anyway or to people who are so sick that they
can't work no matter what, like people with ALS. These are a small
fraction of the total cases.
But that's not how they sell the policies. They give you the
impression, and your HR department will do this as well, that you are
buying into some kind of humane, medically progressive insurance plan
that will be there for your medical needs. You are picturing Sweden.
But what you get is aggravation, run-around, lies, and loss of
income. They give you the impression that everybody needs a STD plan
and that everybody will benefit from one. In truth, the plans benefit
the insurance companies who get rich taking in premiums from millions
of people and paying out money to only a few.
It can take months to even figure out how badly they are messing
with you because the companies are so polished. Everybody is polite
and the website so pretty. They sound as nice as can be,
understanding. They express their sympathy with your health issues. They tell you about their fair review process and their medical staff.
Then you get the claim denial letter and you can't reconcile all the
nice corporate speak with the reality that you have just been ripped
off by the rock or the good hands people.
We could talk about any secular industry this way: academia, government, medicine, law enforcement, military, communications. They all are packed with lies and liars so the TIDE person must always proceed with enormous care and skepticism.