Saturday, June 14, 2014

I Didn't Know, What I Didn't Know Until Prudential Came Along

I Don’t Know, What I Don’t Know

No, really, I don’t know, what I don’t know.  I have no idea, what I don’t know.  How could I? 
I sat in a Prudential Insurance seminar recently.  There was a free dinner and speakers to talk about different types of insurance.  I was invited by an insurance salesperson, because we were going to meet in a week or so to go over my policy.  This friendly young man suggested I go to the seminar first.  I took my 22 year old son and we went not knowing what to expect but at least we would have dinner together.
As the lecture went on, a man sitting near us yelled out “so what does variable life mean?”  The presenter stopped and explained it.  Then another question and another.  I thought I knew many of these answers.  It never even occurred to me that I didn’t know.  I had thought I knew, but this was an eye opening event.  Not just about insurance but because if we don’t ask questions, because we feel inferior, scared, embarrassed, vulnerable or rushed for time, we lose out on not only not knowing, but making wrong decisions.
I have lots of questions when I buy an air conditioner or stove, or any large or small appliance.  I know what I want when I buy a car but still have lots of questions.  If, at any time we weren’t encouraged to ask questions when purchasing an item, we can leave and go someplace else. 
When it comes to insurance, or a visit with your medical care team, it’s often so intimidating and we just don’t know what to ask.
Patient support groups are crucial for the opportunity to share information and feel safe asking question.  Talking to friends and family might help.  Learn what you don’t know, before you go to your next appointment wherever that might be.
Yes, Prudential got my business.

1 comment:

Bart Windrum said...

Ilene you nailed it, identified a core aspect of patient engagement and the (in)ability to function as a medical proxy. We don't know what we don't know. So…what do we do about that? The best answer that occurred to me as I debugged both of my parents rotten crummy terminal hospitalizations was this:

Become a professional question asker. Ask the same questions of multiple people and correlate their answers. Use "periscopic" vision: Postulate. Imagine all sorts of things and pose questions as if they are potential realities—for they may well be.

Over the years this morphed into new guidance: act well before any deadline approaches. Ask for descriptions of the process required to fulfill whatever it is that's gotta occur by some deadline. Dig deep to uncover exactly what must transpire for a group of people to fulfill the deadline.

This make transparent what otherwise, typically, remains opaque. It's a huge part of acting effectively as a medical proxy.