Saturday, April 29, 2017

Insurance company, you don't frighten me

Katie Daisy

We took a big step, and severed our relationship with our previous health insurance company. Their monthly bill had finally climbed over $2400/month, basically a mortgage payment to keep a family of 4 healthy. In my opinion, it's beyond ridiculous.

We did not make this decision lightly. We had been thinking of taking this step for the past 10 years. But when a family member has a co-occurring disorder, you stay tethered to your provider (aka. nemesis), because they have some power to help keep your family member relatively healthy, and in times of crisis, they are the ones who can help you find the answers you need.

Well, sever the tether, we did. Now we are navigating a new insurance company world, new doctors, new rules to see doctors, and the challenging process of "referrals." And, the ordeal of HIPPA laws. Navigating all of this is not for the faint of heart.
Thankfully I am not as quick to anger when the person on the other end of the phone just doesn't seem to speak the same co-occurring disorder lingo as me. I admit... not many do. Seems I have somehow become some sort of "expert" at this. Guess that's what happens when you are a mom forced into action based on necessity.
Since I now work in the non-profit world, I am becoming more familiar with County provided services, and how these benefits help uninsured people who are coping with mental illness and co-occurring disorders. These services seem to be almost better than services provided by a private insurance company. Granted, we have only just begun working with the new insurance company, but within a few short weeks, I have witnessed the following:

  • Even with insurance, medicine co-pays can be multiple times the cost of what someone pays who doesn't have insurance. 
  • General practice doctors will refuse to take on a new patient, saying they don't have the education or background to provide proper services. (WTH?)
  • Public service programs seem to know so much more, or are way more worldly than the private insurance company doctors. (???)
  • Even if you buy into the "premium plan" offered by the new insurance company, it doesn't guarantee you will receive premium services. You will just pay lower co-pays and deductibles. 
I am considering taking my loved one off our family insurance plan and see if he would receive more comprehensive services by using county funded health care. I'm not going to do this right away, as we do have a big change up within our government right now, especially within the health care world. But I am going to wait and watch carefully what pans out over the next several months to see what the best option might be for our family. 

I will report what transpires. Stay tuned...

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