The topic for this month's Diabetes Social Media Advocacy blog carnival gives us a chance to tell our insurance companies what we'd like them to pay for, in an ideal world of diabetes coverage. As we all know, diabetes sure can be expensive. Insurance can help take away some of the financial burden, but sometimes the things we want, or more importantly need, are just not covered by insurance. This month's DSMA carnival is a fill in the blank prompt to get us thinking:
I wish my insurance company paid for _________because ______________.
Our trio wanted to each offer a snapshot of how we'd fill in those blanks!
I'm taking a slightly different tact here: My big wish for health insurance companies is that they would do away with the "smoke and mirrors" and start communicating clearly with their members for once! My family has changed providers no less than 5 times in the last 7 years or so, and every time we join up, the new company sends us a HUGE packet of unintelligible information. I'm talking about a thick folder containing a glossy-print 78-page "Members Guide," full-color fold-out brochures, and multiple stacks of stapled info sheets. All I basically want to know is: What's my co-pay for a doctor's visit? Can I see any doctor, or only the ones in your network? And how much of my prescription med costs will be picked up by you, Insurance Co.?
Think of the money that's invested in all those fancy handouts and materials! Think of how few patients ever really read them through, and even if they did, they'd still need to spend hours clicking through a labyrinth of Call Center options, trying to reach a real live person who can explain it all. And don't get me started on the customer service issues on those calls — is it really necessary to forward me to four different departments to answer such a simple question?!
Waste, waste, waste — when our actual care and critical medications are already so costly. Please cut back on all the fancy marketing materials, and then pass the cost savings along to your members, Insurance People!
I wish my insurance company paid for exactly what my doctor prescribed, because why would my doctor prescribe something that I didn't need?! I get really aggravated when I hear of people who are turned down for their basic diabetes supplies, or when my insurance has a huge deductible or co-pay on something that I obviously need to stay healthy. I can understand abuses for pain medication and the like, but why would a person with diabetes make up the need to wear gadgets and gizmos, or take extra medicine to stay healthy?
Financially-speaking, I understand why health insurance companies push back, but I really hate that they feel it is their right to say, "No, you don't need that" when a medical professional already confirmed that you do. One of my previous insurance providers denied my request for 10 strips a day, telling me they would only give me 8. Which wasn't the end of the world for me; I could survive on two less test strips. But it's even worse when you talk about type 2 diabetes, where insurance companies often pay for just a strip or two a day. How are you supposed to stay healthy when you can barely test once a day? In short, I don't like the influence that insurance companies have over our medications, and I wish they would pay for what we've been prescribed, and then kindly butt out!
I wish my insurance company would pay for all the headaches and stress caused by their tendency to fight me on simple coverage issues, such as getting enough test strips a month and giving me the money put aside in a Flexible Spending Account for medical supplies.
On this note, I actually think my insurance company should create new conditions for coverage such as Chronic Health Insurance Headaches (CHIH) or Health Coverage Emotional Distress (HCED). Totally full coverage. The logic here should be simple for insurance companies to understand: You created the problem, therefore you need to pay for it. If you (Insurance Co.) require me (the patient) to call you multiple times a week and can't handle simple tasks such as looking at a computer screen to find the right information, then you should be responsible for paying for whatever headaches and stress you've caused. Maybe that'd motivate you to be a little more responsive and understanding on the front end!
This post is our May entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you'd like to participate too, you can get all of the information at the DSMA website.