Just ignore Anthem’s new narrow network

Re “ ‘Just give me the option’: Anthem’s narrow-network plan spurs frustration, confusion” (Monitor front page, Sept. 27):

There is a very simple solution to the problem. Don’t find a new doctor. Stick with the doctors you like. Ignore the insurance company’s network. You don’t need the insurance company’s permission to visit the doctor of your choice any more than you need anyone’s approval to buy whatever food, clothing or housing you prefer.

If you have a high deductible, the insurance company is not going to pay anything anyway, so why let it interfere with your choice of doctor? Just tell your doctor that you are bypassing the insurance company. He or she won’t have to fill out any insurance paperwork, won’t have to wait months for partial reimbursement from insurance. You will pay with a debit or credit card, or with check or cash – the same way you pay for almost everything else you purchase. Most doctors will give you a discount for paying directly and avoiding the insurance hassle. More and more doctors are deciding not to accept insurance, including Medicare or Medicaid. By skipping all the paperwork, they are able to reduce their overhead by 40 percent and are able to reduce their fees while providing better care to their patients.

Eliminate the insurance company middleman. Get the care you want from the doctor of your choice. Let your doctor and you decide your treatment, not an insurance company or government bureaucrat.

(My letter published in Concord Monitor, October 7)

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