I can keep my cell phone number when I change service providers but I can’t keep my doctors when I change insurance companies.
As I was filling out yet another insurance application for what will be my 3rd health care provider in the past 12 months — a situation predicated by changes my employer decided to make — the question popped into my head and a knot formed in my stomach, “Are my doctors on this provider’s approved list or will I be forced to choose? The choice: change doctors or see my doctors and pay a huge $1,000 (or higher) deductible. Some choice! Moreover, I don’t understand why, in this day and age, I’m continually faced with this dilemma.
A few years ago the FCC stepped in to protect consumers with “Wireless Local Number Portability (LNP) ” regulations. Wireless LNP allows consumers to switch from one wireless carrier to another within the same general metropolitan area. Government officials realized people had a lot of vested interest in their phone numbers.
Well, I have a significant vested interest in my chosen health care providers. I have an established relationship with my doctors, one that has developed over several years. My doctors know my health history, I understand their approach to care—we have a good working relationship. It’s a relationship that I value at least as much, if not more than my cell phone number.
Does this make sense to anyone?