Friday, August 21, 2009

Health Insurance Rant

Allow me to vent some frustration about health insurance. My very healthy son just got turned down for insurance. He has a very mild case of Intestinal Neuronal Dysplasia. For this the insurance underwriter has said he will never be insured –not only for the IND but for any medical care ever.

I could understand this if he had a severe case of cerebral palsy and his care would certainly cost many thousands a year. But this is a healthy toddler who hasn't had a single symptom or treatment for over a year. We stopped treatments when he was 2 months old. When he did need treatments they were only tap water enemas that cost essentially nothing. His physician says that he will likely live his entire life without a another problem. I am a doctor as well. I reviewed every study published on IND and I am certain my son has the mildest form of the condition.

An underwriter probably saw “Intestinal Neuronal Dysplasia” on the application. It is too rare to have good statistical predictions of its risks. He probably googled it and saw it is genetic and can cause problems in severe cases and denied my son flat out. Ignorance caused them to reject a very healthy child that will likely cost not a penny more than any other child. I offered to speak to the underwriter and explain his situation, but the phone operator told me underwriters don't talk consumers.

My son won't be able to purchase insurance his whole life for a diagnosis that hasn't given him trouble since he was two months old. I can never have a private practice, because I will always have to work for an employer that offers group coverage the rest of my career. If my young, healthy family with no active medical problems cannot get insurance, families with sick individuals shouldn't even try.

I care a lot about healthcare. I have worked hard for years to ensure the care I give is affordable for patients. I have given high-quality low-cost care to hundreds of people insured by this very insurance company. For them to reject my healthy son out of what appears to be ignorance feels like a slap in the face. No wonder so many Americans are eager to bring down the insurance industry!

8 comments:

Jasmin said...

Hi, just caught up with your blog, and, wow, I'm sorry to hear about this. I don't know if the health care reform will help you or not, but I hope it does. Though that sounds like cold comfort somehow...

Tommy Pascoe said...

Sorry to hear that about your son.Does this mean that you will support Obama's universal healthcare plan now?

bobw said...

ugh, that's so crappy. I imagine you've heard of co-ops such as samaritanministries.org? we were part of that for a while and it seemed like a good alternative at the time at least.

Abby said...

This is so frustrating! Any updates?

The Malcontent said...

I used to work for an independent insurance agent and while underwriters won't talk to customers they will talk to agents. Contact a local agent and explain to him what you want, put your whole family on the plan, and let him fight for you.

Agents hate underwriters.

Topher said...

The top 5 health insurance companies made over 12 billion IN PROFITS last year and costs the average american $100+ a month for doing very very little.
What would happen if everyone just started refusing to pay for health insurance?

Did you ever think about why you're paying for it when you're guaranteed treatment either way?

Did you know that not paying medical bills can't affect your credit?

I hate for profit health insurance, think it is 100% ridiculous that we do not have some sort of regulated, non-profit alternative available.

I truly hope your son has found good healthcare solutions and has the opportunity to live a happy healthy life.

时尚创意网 said...

hi,just caught up with your blog,and wow,i'm sorry to hear that about your son.i don't know if the health care reform will help you or not,but i hope it does.
good luck
i'm come from china(guangdong)
hi,i can speak a little engish,so...

MS outlook 2010 said...
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