When you were a kid, you probably had a friend who double-dog dared you to do something stupid like eat a worm (“go on – it tastes just like spaghetti!”) or venture into the forbidden deep end of the pool to play Marco Polo. On one hand, you liked the rush you got from hanging around with them. They seemed so brave and adventurous. On the other hand, your mom warned you that you were running with the wrong crowd and needed some “nice” friends who didn’t make you do bad things.
As you get older, you probably learned that making decisions is often a complicated affair. You gather information, review your options, talk to your friends (and your mother) or go online to see what millions of people you don’t know are doing. It can be exhausting.
Understanding Your Risk Tolerance
Let’s face it. We are all influenced by factors that impact our decision-making process. One of those factors is risk tolerance – the measure of how much risk you can tolerate. One thing we know is that everyone perceives risk differently. In fact, many of us become paralyzed with fright just about making the WRONG decision. This seems to be especially true for people trying to make good decisions about which health plan to choose — and for good reason. There are so many variables to consider when deciding on health coverage: How much can I afford to pay out of my paycheck? What if something horrible happens? Can I keep seeing Dr. Bob, my old fraternity brother? These are all great questions but before you look at specific plans or features, figure out what makes you comfortable (or uncomfortable) and understand your risk tolerance level.
Bottom line – decision-making is all about controlling the level of comfort, or discomfort, you are willing to live with. Once you figure out what makes you comfortable (risk tolerance level), you’ll have the confidence to pick a plan with the right features at the right cost.
Guest blogger Julie Horner, owner of Ultraswayed, helps influence behaviors and drive business change through communication. Julie spent five years as the Senior Director of Benefits Communication at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., overseeing all health, wellness and retirement communication to 1.5 million U.S. And Puerto Rico associates. Prior to Wal-Mart, Julie was with Hewitt Associates / Atlanta for 12 years. Julie was a partner in a design/marketing firm for 11 years. Clients included Coca-Cola USA, IBM Corporation and Miller Brewing.