In well over a decade, I have seen many desire to improve their health. During my time in the field, I have seen my third President elected to office. Politics, especially within the last year, seems to be at the top of people’s conversation list. The question I am normally asked involves how changes in the White House affect my business.
As far as changes go, I have seen the most involve insurance. When President Obama was elected to office, I saw a gradual shift towards high deductible plans rather than the classic PPO plans. For those who find insurance to be another language, with a standard PPO plan one usually has simply a copay from a visit a doctor’s office. With a high deductible plan, one has to reach a deductible before insurance starts to pay for care. The level of the deductible may be determined when signing up for insurance or by one’s employer. With a high deductible plan, a flex spending account or a health savings account may be set up to offset the cost of the deductible.
The big change for a business owner like me involves using more time to educate patients, advising them that they can use their flex spending or health savings accounts for services. Before the shift towards high deductible plans, patients would come in, get care and pay a copay. However, when insurance started shifting towards high deductible plans, I started to hear from many patients that insurance had been dropped, or that they had no insurance anymore.
The patients still had insurance, actually, it was just structured differently. So, I spent a little more time educating individuals on insurance coverage in addition to what is causing issues with their health.
I always suggest that anyone who may have questions regarding what is and what is not going to be covered call the provider, such as myself, and let them check your coverage. Any healthcare provider would rather advise at the beginning of care what your insurance covers, so that everyone is on the same page.
Insurance is basically the only large change we have seen with new Presidents over my time in practice. The way we care for patients has been the same regardless of who was in office. We always have, and will continue to offer, safe, affordable and convenient care to patients.