With the recent Supreme Court ruling, health insurance has hit the top searches again. In my home, the ruling comes as bittersweet news. For my husband, his wife will have access to health insurance. For me, my husband will most likely lose his job as an independent health insurance broker - a job he has loved because of his ability to advocate for people like me. The debate of whether insurance for all is necessary still remains, but I can’t imagine if you really thought about the unpredictable body, you would feel any different than I do.
Owning an integrated wellness center means that I often see people who don’t subscribe to conventional medicine. All too often, I hear people say, “Well, I don’t need health insurance because it doesn’t cover my choice of treatment.” In my office, this is where the debate begins about what insurance "does."
For those who live with a chronic condition, as I do with type 1 diabetes, insurance is a must. Without insurance, you cannot get access to the all the health care options out there that help you to manage your condition. Many hospitals won’t offer “their best” if you don’t have coverage. Integrated medicine, in all its forms, rarely provides diabetes education that teaches the patient what diabetes is and the mechanics of daily, and lifelong care. In my experience, naturopaths, chiropractors, homeopaths often believe there is a cure to diabetes through nutrition. This is a clear lack of education on their part. Diabetes, both type 1 and type 2 and all the variant forms, is a complicated disease that requires complex treatment plans.
Managing a chronic condition, like diabetes, needs both patients and doctors to act as partners. Patients need to be educated consumers and understand what the body needs at all times. When the body is well, we need to learn what will help preserve our good health. During good health is a great time to look at integrated health options, like your nutrition and supplement regimen. But when the body is truly sick, an integrative approach may not be appropriate, and we may need assistance through conventional medicine, like a simple blood test.
I believe the lack of emphasis on preventative conventional health has helped to create a broken system of health care in this country. For me, conventional medicine is the backbone to managing my Type 1 diabetes. By staying on top of my annual exams, like eye care, gynecological care and regular physicals, I am able to get a good overall picture of my health. These all are really important benchmarks that help guide my integrative, as well as conventional, medicine approach.
It also helps to have a doctor in a hospital system. Should something catastrophic happen, like a car accident or emergency gall bladderectomy, and you are admitted in a condition where you can’t help yourself, it's better to have a doctor who can help advocate for your needs.
In closing, I'd like to reiterate the actual definition of insurance: Insurance is a "form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment." That said, when we need health care, we want to know our options and have the assurance that we have access to those options, whether it be integrative, or conventional. Something to think about.
Published On: July 09, 2012