We need to make the distinction between health insurance and health care. Simply put, health insurance should cover you for catastrophic issues and/or chronic conditions. You pay a LARGE monthly fee for this, which is a joke. The narrative, by the insurers, is that they are your health care providers. They are not. Doctors, nurses and the rest of the medical personnel are. Just because you have insurance doesn’t mean you have health care. All you have is some mild peace of mind with a large monthly bill. You still can’t see the doctor you want and get many of the things your doctor recommends or prescribes.
This survey was done by the Doctor-Patient Rights Project and it found that:
- Almost two out of every three patients denied coverage were denied multiple times and most had to wait more than a month before their insurance provider responded to their request for a prescribed treatment.
- 70% of the denied treatments for chronic or persistent illnesses were for conditions described as “serious,” and 43% were for treatment of patients described as “in poor health.”
- Nearly a third (29%) of patients initially denied coverage reported that their condition worsened, even if they eventually convinced their insurer to cover their treatments.
- More than one out of every three patients (34%) denied coverage had to put off or forego treatment altogether.
- The largest consensus of patients (91 percent) agreed that insurance providers should not have the final say in treatment decisions, and almost as many (87 percent) felt insurers should play either a secondary role or no role at all in deciding medical treatments.
To be clear, this organization is biased. I get that. I also know that insurers can’t approve everything. I get that, too. That being said I have never had ONE person talk highly about their insurance company. On the flip side, I have never had ONE person talk badly about the Health Ministries (CHM, Medishare, Samaritan, etc.). If you are bothered that it is faith-based I would ask you to suspend judgment for a minute. These systems work. The companies profit. The patients love them. All are different and have different plans but the basics are that the patient has a yearly deductible and the plan covers nothing for free. The patient pays the first $600 of every touch point with the medical system (this is a rough estimate). They are forced to shop around and they do. Their negatives are that they tend to cherry pick healthier patients and have higher premiums and exclusions for pre-existing conditions. It may not be perfect but you can’t tell me there couldn’t be some happy medium here.
I still believe that:
- We need to put medical doctors back in charge of the medical system
- Patients need skin in the game.
- Everyone needs to be responsible and accountable for their own care but there should always be a safety net just in case.