Sunday, November 20, 2016

Medical Necessity: Here we go again

If you want to understand why your rates keep going up, you can lay a big chunk of the blame on items like this (in email from Medical Mutual this morning):

"To be compliant with the non-discrimination rule outlined in the Affordable Care Act (section 1557), we will remove broad exclusions for gender transition treatment"

Let's dial back a bit, and talk about why this is so stupid. In the earliest days of this blog, we participated in a discussion with other bloggers about medical necessity and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). We averred that:

"[A]ccording to the standard industry definition, “medical necessity refers to treatment which is required to treat or care for symptoms of an illness or injury or to diagnose an illness or condition that is harmful to life or health.” Thus, we see that IVF fails to meet the threshold of “medical necessity,” ergo it should not be covered by insurance."

That is, no one has ever died because they couldn't/didn't get pregnant. Likewise, there is no evidence that anyone has ever died because they didn't get their personal bits chopped and/or replaced (excluding obviously medical issues like cervical or breast cancer and the like). There is, however, ample evidence that these folks are at much higher risk for attempting suicide (which would then require medical treatment in the most expensive part of the hospital).

So when insurers are forced to pay for non-medically necessary procedures, that cost is going to be passed along in the form of higher insurance premiums. Now, am I blaming Medical Mutual for this change? Of course not, they're simply following directives sent down from Our Betters in DC©.

What choice do they (or any other carrier) have?

It's not rocket surgery, after all.

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