A pharmacist in an inter-city Detroit hospital relates the following story. He works at a conglomerate of hospitals in the inter-city that treats a great many Medicaid patients and those with no insurance. That is not the story. What is amazing is that this professional man who works with professional at these hospitals says the staff actually thought medical treatment would be free for their patients and that they would not have to change or pay any more for their personal health insurance.
This week the hospital employees received their health insurance notifications for next year and on average their costs will double what it has costs them in 2013. That’s right double and they are beside themselves. It is understandable that the Medicaid and no health insurance patients would think they are going to get services for free because in all of the Obama administration press releases and speeches it is inferred that health services will be free or paid for by others paying slightly higher premiums. Now we have health care professionals in the heart of a depressed city, Detroit just understanding that they are going to be paying in most cases double what they have been paying. This mild mannered pharmacist said there might be a revolt over these new costs. We don’t know if he meant the patients who will have to pay something for some drugs and services or the professionals who really thought the ACA was free. I’m amazed that these professionals who don’t fit the profile of “low information voters”” didn’t research the impact the new health care laws might have had on them. I’ve urged in every health care column I’ve written to have each of you check with your insurance company to determine what your new costs will be. Surprisely I’ve had a couple of people say that with the delay in “business terms” of the ACA until 2015 they don’t have to think about it right now. They are wrong. Please force your health care services to estimate your new costs and any changes in service you experience before it is too late.