I’ve recently had to pay for a visit to the doctor and realized that I’m afraid to go to the doctor because of what it might cost. It was a basic checkup that I guilted myself into since I’ve been paying for insurance but haven’t seen the doctor for 2 years.
I had nothing especially wrong with me. I told him about having pretty bad heartburn and how taking Zantac helped. He performed a physical, and gave some advice about the heart burn. One month later I got a bill for $53.
I pay a decent amount for health insurance now, and from this experience, it’s clear that the insurance covers (in a real way) neither the minimal preventative treatment nor treatment in catastrophic cases. The latter I found out when I saw that my plan has a $50K lifetime limit.
At this time I don’t want to get into a discussion of healthcare policy in this country. I want to simply say that a good healthcare system, in my opinion, should:
- Incentivize a person to visit the doctor when he/she first sees symptoms of a disease.
- Incentivize a person to visit the doctor for regular check-ups.
- Incentivize the doctor to do tests and treatments on patients that need them (based on a reasonable analysis of symptoms and medical history) and not to do tests or treatments on patients that likely don’t need them.
Or more simply put, there should be an easier, more open, relationship between patients and doctors. Frankly, after the $53 bill, I’m hesitant to go there again unless something is clearly wrong, and my definition of “wrong” covers cases that would probably cost the system a lot less if they were treated earlier
I’m willing to pay more, but I want the assurance and clarity that the current 100 pages of legalspeak in my insurance plan does not provide.