All but the mightiest among us need proper health insurance, since you never know when your health will take a sudden turn for the worse. No one understands this better than the people of Westeros.
If you’ve made it this far in Game of Thrones, insurance would seem to be a must-have item. You just never know when someone will cut off your sword hand. Or if you’ll contract greyscale. Or if a vindictive wedding guest will try to spoil your party.It’s safe to say, if you’re a character on #GameOfThrones, you ought to buy the right insurance coverage to have any chance of surviving. Click To Tweet
But not every healthcare plan is right for every person. So, of the characters who have made it to the final Game of Thrones season, what health insurance should they look into?
Medicare (for Magic)
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, or younger people with certain disabilities. In the United States, about 10,000 people enroll in Medicare every day. In Westeros, the odds of making it to your golden years are considerably lower. However, there’s still a collection of folks across Game of Thrones who could benefit from the right Medicare plan.
Melisandre and Maester Qyburn are both old enough to qualify for Medicare. They’d most likely differ on their individual doctor choices and plans. While Qyburn appears healthy enough to rely on Original Medicare (Parts A & B) and Medigap while he’s still working, Melisandre would likely spring for Medicare drug coverage as well. You don’t get to be 402 years old without prioritizing medicine when you need it.
Paralyzed from a fall when he was a child, Bran Stark has been dependent on others to literally carry him around for the majority of his life. Even with his newer supernatural gifts, Bran’s physical obstacles to maintaining gainful employment would qualify him for Medicare benefits.
Affordable Care Act plans (for Royalty)
Obamacare – also known as the Affordable Care Act, or the ACA – is the type of health insurance that most adults without employer coverage enroll in.
Most of the characters who have made it this far would reap the greatest benefits from choosing an Obamacare plan. Queen Cersei and Jaime Lannister, Gendry, Theon and Yara Greyjoy, and even Jaqen H’ghar would could each find an ACA-compliant plan with the right balance of deductibles and cost-sharing for their specific needs.
Thanks to the ACA, both Sansa and Arya Stark would have the right to stay on a parents’ insurance plan until each of them turns 26 years old. If circumstances prevent this, it’s also possible for them to get their own ACA plan at an earlier date.
Regardless of which plan everyone chose, they’d all get guaranteed coverage for the healing arts of ten essential health benefits. That would be a relief for most characters, but especially Cersei. She’d definitely put that maternity and newborn care coverage to good use.
Medicaid (for free)
Medicaid provides free or low-cost health coverage to eligible low-income people, families and children. There are plenty of people throughout the Seven Kingdoms who might apply for Medicaid, including Gilly and her son Sam. A former wildling with no strong family ties or source of income, Gilly and Sam almost certainly live below the Westeros poverty line. In their situation, the stability of Medicaid would be ideal.
Short-Term Insurance (for Wanderers)
Short-term health insurance is a solution that quickly takes effect when you move, change jobs, or let your coverage lapse. Jorah Mormont lost access to Dothraki job insurance benefits (which weren’t great to begin with) when he was dismissed from Daenerys’ service. That’s especially unfortunate since Jorah almost immediately contracted greyscale.
Treating a disease that’s usually fatal would surely cost an arm and a leg…or at least several hundred Gold Honors. Hopefully, Jorah’s treatment would be paid for by a short-term Game of Thrones health plan which keeps him covered for situations like this. Pre-existing diseases are not covered by short-term plans, so let’s assume he enrolled before his recent predicament.
Similarly, Samwell Tarly left the Night’s Watch to train as a maester. This means he’s forgoing any workplace insurance benefits that surely must be a perk for members of the Night’s Watch, leaving him with a temporary gap in coverage. Until Samwell finishes his education, a short-term plan would keep him covered.
You know, just in case he encounters any White Walkers on his journey.
Fixed Indemnity (for Warriors)
Fixed indemnity health insurance helps manage very specific out-of-pocket costs in the event of serious injury or illness. People in dangerous situations can look for a fixed indemnity plan that pays a set amount of cash benefits to cover specific medical expenses.The #Kingsguard can fight in confidence, knowing they have fixed indemnity coverage. Click To Tweet
Almost everyone in the Seven Kingdoms could benefit from a fixed indemnity plan. Let’s face it, it’s not a matter of if they’ll get into a battle, but when. Still, some people could use it more than others.
Those most likely to lose a limb— like Brienne of Tarth and Tormund Giantsbane — would probably benefit the most from a fixed indemnity plan. Bronn would be smart to look into a fixed indemnity plan, too. Daenerys will absolutely be looking to inflict bodily harm on the man that took down one of her dragons.
Pet Health Insurance (for Your Dragons)
It can be easier to get pet health insurance than health insurance for humans. Pet insurance is broadly designed to cover animals for all types of injuries, illnesses, and routine care.
It turns out, even animals aren’t safe from harm in Westeros. For now, Jon Snow and Arya’s direwolves (Ghost and Nymeria, respectively) are still alive and kicking. But the proper pet healthcare plan could be very helpful in the event that their direwolf needs medical attention.
And if she hasn’t already, Daenerys should also consider getting pet healthcare for her two remaining dragons, Drogon and Rhaegal. Since she’s learned that dragons aren’t immune to harm, Daenerys would be smart to move the astronomical cost of treating a dragon onto an unwitting insurance company.
But…what about Jon Snow?
It’s safe to assume some characters have a decent group insurance plan, which covers everyone in their workplace. If you can get on decent group coverage, that’s usually the way to go.
Members of the Night Watch, for example, could be expected to have decent group coverage in normal circumstances. And Daenerys’ army — which now includes members from multiple cities — is large enough that a group plan would make sense. Even those newly loyal to Daenerys, like Tyrion Lannister and Varys, would be able to reap those group insurance benefits once they join her retinue.
We have to assume White Walkers have a spectacular group plan as well. Sure, they’re an ancient race of beings who have magic at their disposal, but they’re constantly surrounded by frigid temperatures, ice, and snow. You’d have to have pretty decent benefits to justify those working conditions.
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