The importance of employer-provided health insurance – Case study: The Battle of Agincourt

The importance of employer-provided health insurance – Case study: The Battle of Agincourt

October 25, 2016
Employer-provided health insurance
Source: Wikipedia

Today is the 601st anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt. On October 25th, in 1415, near the little town of Azincourt, in northern France, two armies met. One was English, commanded by the famous king Henry V. The other was French and was numerically superior. After hours of brutal fighting, the English won, crushing the French. And King Henry went to actually become the ruler of France. The battle is now famous. And it also made famous the English longbow, the weapon that brought down the French knights. But it also demonstrated the importance of another thing, that many of us don’t really notice these days. That thing is employer-provided health insurance. Had the French king provided his troops with life insurance, things might have not gone the way they did.

Here are some reasons why employer-provided health insurance is so important:

1. Employer-provided health insurance helps you save money

Accidents happen and illness strikes you when you least expect it. But, if you have insurance, you can at least relax and not stress yourself into illness by thinking about what could happen if you do get sick. And it also saves money. Medical costs are really high these days. Having insurance can not only save your health, but your finances as well.

In 1415, the French had no health insurance. And maybe that’s why their archers and crossbowmen opted to stay away from the front lines. Without their help, the French knights had no cover against the English longbowmen, who were able to shoot hundreds of arrows into their ranks, scaring the horses and destroying every little bit of discipline. Everybody knows what happened next.

2. It reduces absenteeism

Healthy employees are not afraid to show up for work. And they’re also more productive. In 1415, the French outnumbered the English 6 to 1. But France had the capability to field an even bigger army. Had they done so, maybe the English would have been overwhelmed.

And there’s also the fact that most French soldiers probably didn’t even want to be there. During the Hundred Years’ War, most French armies tried to avoid fighting the English, preferring to stay behind the walls of their beautiful castles.

Having health insurance could have helped raise the morale of the common French soldier, making him more eager to fight the English.

3. It improves job satisfaction

When you don’t need to pay out of your own pocket for health insurance, you’re definitely happy. And happiness is also important if you want your troops to have a good morale. A happy soldier is a better soldier.

4. It prevents your employees from leaving

If your employees are happy and stress-free, they will not want to and search for a new jobs. This is even more important when it comes to armies and wars. You need to have your best soldiers by your side when you’re being invaded. If you manage to keep them close, your chances of winning improve a lot. But, if you lose them…

5. It allows your employees to better themselves

Not having to spend any time shopping for health insurance or looking for it online means that you can do other things. Maybe it’s just relaxing in front of the TV, but maybe it’s also learning and getting better at what you do. Soldiers who don’t have to worry about staying healthy can dedicate more time to training. As a result, they’ll be better soldiers. And better soldiers always win battles.

Final word

At the time of the Battle of Agincourt, there was no health insurance. The soldiers who fought in the Hundred Years’ War weren’t really professional soldiers. The English did get paid, it’s true, but this was still a long way from what we have now, in modern times. The French soldiers were not paid at all. At that time, France still relied on the old medieval practice of raising levies, where each lord came with his own men, recruited from the people who lived and worked on the lord’s lands.

It’s hard to say what would have happened had health insurance existed back then. Things might have gone a different way. Or they might have not. No matter what, having health insurance is still very important. And having employer-provided health insurance is even more important because, as I already mentioned, it not only takes care of your health, but your finances as well.

Thomas Hookton is a finance journalist, history buff and science fiction connoisseur. Hit him up via email.

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