Filed Under:Health Insurance, Disability

Disability Insurance Observer: 'Game of Thrones'

Opinion

The income umbrella (AP photo/Charles Dharapak)
The income umbrella (AP photo/Charles Dharapak)

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the troubled HealthCare.gov exchange enrollment system are simply an undeniable source of distraction.

Who can think much about the risk of loss of the ability to work when the actual current disabilities of an insurance program website provide so much entertainment?

For me, personally, though, the real distraction is binge watching "Game of Thrones," an HBO series that seems to be a fantasy version of Risk that puts the Roman empire, the Vikings, the Scots, the Mongol hordes, a kingdom of dragon lords, and, apparently, zombies all on the same game board.

One thought about the show: "Game of Thrones" and its ilk ("Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," etc.) are a workplace curse. Unwelcome thoughts about those shows must be about as harmful to productivity as the flu, or back pain.

Another, preliminary thought (preliminary because I've only gotten through one season) is that there must be some kind of insurance or return-to-work wisdom in any great television series.

"Breaking Bad" is, of course, a great illustration of what can go wrong when you fail to buy the right kind of critical illness insurance.

Many shows (example: "The Adventures of Merlin") illustrate the perils that face families that fail to explain estate plans clearly to all affected family members.

"Game of Thrones" shows at least one character with a congenital challenge (short stature) excelling at work in the face of others' skepticism, and one character with an injury-related disability using adaptive technology to regain the ability to handle the activities of daily living.

Another "Game of Thrones" lesson: Insurance is great, but a business owner's best protection against disability and unwanted absence is developing a good succession plan and good leadership candidates. 

But perhaps the most relevant lesson from "Game of Thrones" is the warning, "Winter is coming."

I'm not yet sure exactly what that means, in terms of the show, but, in terms of life, it seems to be good, quick shorthand for the reason that we all need a full range of personal protection products, including income protection products.

Winter is coming.

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