It’s that time of year again where I have to fight with insurance and with all that goes into public discourse I thought I’d share my experience. Every time my insurance changes, and frequently even if it doesn’t, I have to go through a roughly 3 week process of getting the policy to pay for my meds. On this same piece of paper is a list of “alternative” meds with an asterisk after them. If you follow the asterisk to the bottom of the page, the text reads:
These recommendations are not a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider.
The irony here is that I have, in fact, already consulted with my doctor. That doctor prescribed me the medication that is being denied. So now I have to prepare for weeks of arguing with the insurance, requesting appeals and exceptions, getting documentation from my provider, all to get the insurance company to acknowledge that the doctor did in fact prescribe a necessary treatment (which is hilarious to me since I’ve been on these meds for a decade).
And of course with each new shift in insurance policies there is always the potential that I will reach the point where my appeal requests will fail and I’ll either pay out of pocket or not take my meds or switch to other meds that don’t work, meds that my doctor has specifically told me not to take.
This has been my reality for so long that I’ve internalized it and find it utterly unsurprising when I receive this same letter each year from different companies.
I understand perfectly well the system we have devised in our country: I have no right to take the medications my doctors prescribe; I can pay for the privilege of taking them.
So many don’t seem to understand this. Not just young people but all age ranges. “I need these medications!” No, you want them. We have decided as a society that no one needs anything but emergency care and anything that may want after that to get the best treatment is a privilege that they are financially responsible for, even if it means chronic illness or death not to receive.
If you want that to change, so be it. Go vote. But understand that this is the reality. Right, wrong, doesn’t matter. Reality.