Medical Care Impacted by the Insurance Industry
Health insurance is designed to cover your medical care. It’s not supposed to hinder your diagnosis or adversely impact your health. Unfortunately, in several notable cases, the insurance company refused to cover necessary tests, causing the patient to wait until it was almost too late; simply because they could not afford to pay their deductible or the cost of the procedures.
Putting Off Important Medical Tests
In 2017, a patient named Susan discovered she carried the gene for breast cancer, BRCA2. As such, she was 69% more likely to develop breast cancer. Susan had two choices. She could opt for a double mastectomy, which would significantly reduce her chance to develop breast cancer or elect to have annual cancer screenings to catch any early sign of the disease. Susan chose the latter because she wanted to have more children and her insurance company made things very difficult.
High Deductibles Contribute to the Problem
The problem began with Susan’s health insurance plan. Her company moved its employees to high deductible health care plans several years before her genetic findings. In her case, a $6,000 health insurance deductible had to be paid before the insurance company would cover any medical testing or procedures. Since the cancer screenings cost less than the deductible, Susan had to pay for them out of pocket. The bills for her mammogram and MRI totaled more than $2,000.
Before Susan scheduled her 2018 cancer screenings, she wanted to pay off the medical bills from the previous year. She held back on getting the life-saving tests because of her medical debt. Unfortunately, Susan is not alone. According to statistics, more than 316,244 women were forced into high deductible health plans by their employers between the years of 2004 and 2014. There is a direct correlation between high health care deductibles and a delay in medical diagnosis and treatment. Many low-income women who were diagnosed with breast cancer wait an average of 8.7 months before starting chemotherapy.
Medical Delays Lead to Less Effective Treatments
A longer delay for medical care leads to less effective treatments, especially when the diagnosis is cancer. The sooner someone is diagnosed with cancer and begins treatment, the greater the chance for a positive outcome. If your health insurance caused you to delay lifesaving tests and treatments, call me and I’ll meet with you to review your options and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
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