Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Riddle me this, Batman

When I applied for health insurance last spring, I was quoted Price X for the monthly premium. I completed the application, was approved and got the first statement – for X+$75. When I called to find out why the premium was so much higher than they’d originally quoted, they said it was because I was taking Wellbutrin, an antidepressant.

They said after I’d been off the drug for six months, they would reduce the premium. So I called my doctor, asked him to make a note that I was taking myself off it and now, six months later, it’s time to file for a rate review.

I have no problem jumping through their hoops to get a $75/month raise. What I question is this:

Why is it more cost-efficient for the insurance company for the patient to not take a beneficial (and cheap) drug? Seems to me if the doctor and the patient agree that the drug could be helpful (in my case, Wellbutrin also suppresses appetite), there would be more risk to the insurer by not taking it. Surely obesity and depression are health issues that should be treated, rather than ignored.

But that’s just me.

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