Private insurance is not your friend
Tl;dr: private insurance is not your friend and does not care about you no matter how much you like them-a dispatch from family medicine.
I had a patient come in today for something relatively mundane, a headache. No serious red flags. Pretty straightforward from a medical standpoint.
But her insurance.
She had recently changed jobs and with it, her insurance changed. She thought it had already gone into effect with me as her provider.
Turns out, I won’t be her covered provider until August 1st.
She ended up paying out of pocket for the visit.
Luckily, this wasn’t something health or life threatening. Luckily she didn’t need a lot of tests. Luckily, she had something relatively easy to take care of.
Others are not so lucky.
This scenario plays out dozens of times every year in my office. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will likely happen to you someday. 28% of people in the US “lose” their current insurance and are forced to change plans *every year* at the whim of their employers.
This is another reason why I favor single payer healthcare.
Imagine changing jobs and not having to pick a new healthcare plan each time.
Imagine losing your job but still being insured.
Imagine every doctor in every state being under the same plan, with no worries about “in-network” providers.
Imagine being covered by insurance from the moment of birth until the moment of death, no questions asked.
To paraphrase John Lennon, it’s easy to imagine if you try.