Friday, June 19, 2009

Demanding a refund

When traditional medicine covered by a health insurance policy fails to deliver remedies to ailing patients, those who can afford it seek and pay for non-traditional alternatives not covered by their healthcare plan. That is what my wife and I are doing for a chronic, but not life-threatening, ailment of hers. After giving up on the solutions that our healthcare plan offered, we researched and found a medical group of physicians that specializes in treating my wife’s ailment. Yesterday I took the day off from work to accompany her for an initial consultation in the San Francisco area, about two hours from where we live.

Thanks be to God that we can afford this option. I wish everyone suffering from a chronic ailment that mainstream medicine has not been able to remedy had similar financial means to seek out non-traditional alternatives. Time will tell the outcome but we are hopeful and know that the mainstream diagnosis and treatment solutions aren't getting the job done.

So we’ll continue paying the $626 monthly health insurance premiums for our healthcare plan while dipping deeper into our pockets to pay for the specialist not covered by our plan. It was no surprise to learn while talking to the specialist physician's receptionist yesterday that many of their patients do the same and double pay for healthcare.

Will the proposals currently being considered by Congress to improve health care access for all Americans at a projected cost of more than one trillion dollars change our predicament? Personally, I don’t think so and actually believe it will make things worse by raising the cost of health care in general for all Americans, either directly through higher health insurance premiums or indirectly through higher taxes, without any measurable improvement in the quality of health care. Time will tell and I hope I’m dead wrong on this one.

Yesterday, when paying for the cost of the specialist visit and scheduling the lab work and next visit, I was reminded of the shortcomings of our primary health care system. At that moment, I felt angry like an irate customer returning a defective product and demanding a refund.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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