As the midterm elections approach, I see a lot of stories about Congress trying to lower the price of drugs. I hope that this is more than politics and that we can see some action that will help lower all health care costs, not just drug prices. I recently switched jobs, which means I switched major insurance providers. I had a chronic illness and I took biologic treatment to manage the illness. While the previous carrier had no problems covering the treatments, the new carrier declined coverage, saying it was too experimental for my condition. It’s just a lie. I have been taking this medication for many years as prescribed by my doctor, an expert in the field I trust who has a better understanding of the best treatment methods than an insurance company.
After hours of my time talking to my insurance carrier, the decision was reversed. However, when approval came, my treatment was delayed by a few weeks. That delay caused my condition to flare up, and my health still has not recovered. Also, the new routine lab work I was doing was not covered by my insurance, leaving me on the hook of hundreds of dollars. As our elected leaders look for ways to expand access to affordable health care, they need to look at insurance industry practices. Reducing the cost of prescription drugs will not have much of an impact if the insurance industry continues to look for ways to exclude treatments.
Elizabeth Cochran, Portland