Why are patients in Delaware denied doctor-prescribed treatment?
In a recent piece for the News Journal, Jonathan Wilcox, our co-founder and policy director, shares how insurance companies are making patients in Delaware pay more for health insurance, while blocking access to doctor-prescribed treatments.
“Even more challenging, patients often accept their insurer’s judgment and don’t pursue administrative appeals. Don’t be surprised: people fighting for their lives don’t often look to open up another front in another war.”
“The rejection of medically necessary drugs combined with higher health care costs is a truly deadly mix for patients. Denying vital medications could result in serious consequences; who is responsible when this occurs? Doctors are required to take an oath to do no harm; should insurers be asked to do the same?”
“Fundamentally, this isn’t just the patient’s fight or only their doctor’s cause. The advocacy community must lend its voice of concern to this obvious policy problem, insist on comprehensive reform and bring an end to what is obviously health care’s secret scandal. And lawmakers must listen.”
2017: Patients in Delaware will pay more for health insurance
Last month, Delaware Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart approved double digit rate increases for health insurance plans offered to patients in the Diamond State.
In 2017, patients will pay substantially more for health insurance.
- Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware Individual Market Plans: 32.5% average rate increase
- Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware Small Group Plans: 2.74% average rate increase
- Aetna Life Insurance Company Individual Market Plans: 22.8% average rate increase
- Aetna Health Insurance Company Individual Market Plans: 23.6% average rate increase
- Aetna Life Small Group Plans: 15.2 average rate increase
- Aetna Health Small Group Plans: 19.7% average rate increase
What Patients in Delaware say about Health Care
According to a recently released national and statewide survey from the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease:
- 45 percent of Delaware residents have seen their health care costs increase
- 19 percent of Delawareans say the treatment their doctor recommended wasn’t covered by insurance
- 21 percent say the treatment of someone they know had the same problem.
- 88 percent of Delawareans declared as very or somewhat important the need for transparency regarding how and why health plans are deciding to deny coverage of doctor-prescribed treatments.