It is interesting, since jumping off of the hamster wheel, the daily barrage of depressive changes in medicine don’t effect me like they did. All the previous items I wrote about are still there and growing, but they don’t touch my daily existence like they did. Generic and branded drug prices are priced ridiculously high, Health insurer mergers and hospital system mergers are growing bigger and bigger- becoming monopolies, hospital prices are bankrupting more and more households, health insurance rates continue to eat more and more of the middle class’s disposable income, and the coding change (ICD-10) is on the horizon. These are all very big issues, no doubt and have to be tackled – but not in the exam room and not to get between my patient’s and me.
Now my focus is on my patients. We have been oppressed in medicine too long. So now we take the time to weed out their concerns, use studies and tests as needed but at affordable prices that they can manage, and prescribe medicines that also do the least damage to their budget. Instead of feeling like I was part of the problem, I have become part of the solution. Both my patients and I have agreed this is good for both sides. They tell me I have changed, much more relaxed, less hurried and they in turn enjoy having a doctor that has more than 10 minutes to spend with them and knows them as persons not diseases.
As we come closer to 2016, there have been predictions that insurance costs will climb a minimum of 15%, and some markets 50%-100%. Already people are struggling in paying the monthly fee, deductible, and medication costs. There is an alternative out there worth looking at instead of opting out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and paying the penalty that is actually larger than you think. The ACA did allow for an alternative to buying into big insurance debt. There are three “sharing ministries”, two of which are Christian based (Samaritan’s Ministries, Medishare) and the other is not religious based (Libertyhealthshare). I posted this information earlier (Home / Healthcare facts / Alternative to buying health insurance) and felt it was worth bringing back up. For our family the monthly fee is a third or less of what regular insurance would have cost us monthly, not to mention the deductible if we decided to use the insurance. It is worth considering. For some, the ACA fine for not having insurance would be just slightly less than becoming part of one of these share ministries. If you pair what we are offering with one of these ministries, your healthcare costs per month will be significantly less than they are or will be. Buying short term insurance doesn’t help you since you can not avoid the ACA penalty with that type of coverage.
The previous discussion doesn’t pertain to people on Medicare or Medicaid, which are government subsidized plans. Though it could affect Medicare patients who are not on Medicare advantage plans but buy secondary coverage through an Insurance company, since your monthly fee will go up and part D medication coverage will have higher copays. For Medicare age patients to be in a share ministry, there are some stipulations that have to be met to qualify.
Life is good.