Have you ever watched Person of Interest, a television show about how we’re all being watched? Until recently I thought it was just a fun suspense show with lots of action. Now I’m becoming a conspiracy theorist–blame the novelist in me. But it’s no longer as fun as it once was.
We Americans have to get insurance, right? If we don’t, we’re fined when we pay taxes. My husband and I are members of Samaritan Ministries, which is a healthcare sharing group that is growing very quickly, and so far is an acceptable alternative to buying insurance, so we don’t get fined at tax time. For us, it’s also much cheaper. Christians who attend church at least three times a month and live a clean and healthy lifestyle can join this group and help other Christians pay their medical bills. We pray for one another and it’s a very encouraging set-up. Thousands are joining, more every year as people find they can’t afford regular insurance–including one that yanked $1300.00 out of the bank account of a friend of mine against her wishes last week.
We’ve discovered a recent development taking place with some insurance companies that has disturbed us here at the clinic. We’ve begun to receive messages from the companies about the patients who are not “being compliant,” meaning they aren’t taking the medications the doctor has prescribed for them–of course, the insurance companies know everything about their patients. Now, at first I thought that just meant they were tattling so the doctor would be aware in case there’s a problem–we do need to know if our patients aren’t taking their blood pressure meds, etc., so we can perhaps prescribe something they’re more likely to utilize.
Now we’re concerned that those patients might lose their coverage if they continue to “disobey” the doctor. We have no intention of firing a patient for such a thing, but since the insurance companies are keeping track, if there’s a bad outcome for that patient, whether or not it is related to the drug they failed to have filled at the pharmacy, the insurance companies might well reject treatment for that bad outcome.
This disturbs me. Of course we need to know if a patient needs further help but it’s just a little creepy to know that if I had regular insurance, my insurance company might tattle on me if a doctor prescribes a medication I don’t want, and gets me into trouble, either with the doctor, or with the insurance company, itself.
So remember that you are being watched….