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Birthday Insurance

August 28, 2009

A Balloon Animal

A Balloon Animal

A slight quease passed over me this morning upon spotting an email from my German student health insurer. Did my automatic withdrawal reservoir finally scrape bottom? Was I dropped because classes are out for summer?

Man, and on my birth-day no less.

The deal seemed too rosy from the start. I signed up online with barely more than a passport number and a school name–no medical questions asked. I opted for the equivalent of an American “Cadillac” plan which cost 35 Euros a month and included renter’s insurance. I could cancel anytime I wanted;   they could not.

My policy was approved the next afternoon. Covered.

Now, surely my German skills were failing me: this was a birthday greeting. Just a birthday greeting.

I know it’s a robo-mail, but what surprises me (aside from the absence of life-course demolishing news) is that they didn’t even exploit the opportunity to sell me an upgrade or spook me on the looming specter of American socialism.

Here’s a rough translation:

Subject: Heartfelt Best Wishes

Good day MR. EDWARD,

Congratulations on your birthday today!

We wish you a wonderful day, many heartfelt congratulations and excellent gifts.

All the best and stay healthy!


Your German Insurance “Team”

Of course, these “heartfelt wishes” are actually a thinly veiled threat reminding me of two things:

1) better stay healthy


2) we know exactly how old you are and will terminate your life in 15,330 days or less, subject to review by European-style-death-panel.

As an American I fully recognize the lethal truth of socialism, but it’s nice to know for one special day that my government regulated health insurance provider’s heartfelt best wishes are warm, and mandatory.

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