As a full-time worker with employer-subsidized health insurance, I usually feel fairly confident that Cassie and I have what we really need covered. (Jay is covered under his employer’s plan separately for a slight cost savings.)
But yesterday, I heard a story on NPR’s All Things Considered that made me question whether she’s getting what she needs at her pediatric checkups:
An increasing number of plans require patients to pay out of pocket for many of the vaccines. And the vaccines, especially newly recommended ones, are very costly.
Ironically, children who receive government-provided health care get the new vaccines, because they’re covered. But for kids of middle-class families with private health insurance, some of the newer vaccines (chicken pox, rotavirus, meningitis, etc.) aren’t part of the package.
So this gives me pause: Has Cassie’s doctor not administered necessary vaccines because insurance doesn’t cover it? He hasn’t recommended any out-of-pocket vaccines to me, but could it be he assumes I won’t want to pay the hundreds of dollars for them? I would, of course.
But the real problem here is insurance companies not footing the bill. I plan to check up on this and, if our insurance company doesn’t cover her vaccines, I’m going to be the squeaky wheel. With enough of us squeaking, here’s hoping we can get the coverage for our kids that they deserve!