Saturday, January 14, 2012

How do you value health care?

  This last week we saw a large number of clients with drastically different insurance benefits as we start 2012. Less massages, tighter limits on adjusting, less rehabilitation and all for more money. It is not really shocking to see premiums and deductibles get bigger while coverages and limits get smaller. After all, insurance companies are a business and have to answer to shareholders first and you, the patient, later.

 More and more, people are referred to as "non-insured" - insured patients. These are people with such large deductibles or ridiculously low limits that they have essentially no coverage. For example, someone might need $1500 worth of care and have a $3000 deductible. Or they may require 24 visits to fix a problem and their insurance will only pay for 8. 

 What do you do when presented with this situation? Sadly, many people never address their health care budget with the doctor's office and simply continue to suffer with a problem they should have fixed. In my office, we recognize that each person's financial situation is as different as their health concerns. This is why as a progressive and concerned provider office, we have options to work with every budget so each person can be treated with respect and dignity to get the care they need without feeling like a charity case.

 I am not trying to do a commercial. Many offices will work with a patient financially. Very few are so cold as to turn away a suffering patient. My point is that it is up to you as a patient to bring up any financial concerns and even better - propose a solution that is fair and reasonable to both you and the doctor. This way you get the care you need and the doctor gets to stay in the business of helping people.  

In health,
Dr. Christian Cohen