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Could a High Deductible Insurance Plan Increase the Risk of a Medical Mistake?

March 31, 2016  ·  By HM&M

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Thanks to recent U.S. policy changes, more people than ever have affordable health care coverage. Unfortunately, that benefit is extremely limited since many are still stuck on high deductible plans, emergency care only plans, or subpar employer-provided insurance. So, even though many Americans are now protected in the event of an emergency, many still do not have the coverage they need to prevent serious illness. Even more concerning is that, despite the changes, many Americans may still lack the coverage they need to catch a serious condition before it gets out of hand.

What High Deductible Plans Can Mean for Your Health

While most healthy individuals do not have to worry too much about their healthcare coverage, anyone can suddenly find themselves in a situation where quality insurance is necessary. Moreover, many Americans are needing regular medical care for conditions like cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart complications much sooner than previous generations. Unfortunately, most people are less likely to seek treatment when they have high deductible insurance coverage. Or, if they do seek treatment, they may be less likely to probe the doctor further if no immediate cause for their symptoms is found.

In either of these circumstances, a patient’s health can be seriously compromised. Certain conditions, such as those mentioned above, are progressive. Others – particularly certain types of cancers – may be difficult to detect or diagnose; if you are unwilling to push for more tests because of cost, you could be placed at risk for severe illness or even fatality. In some instances, there is no one to blame really (other than the system). But in others, this lack of testing or follow-up could fall back on the physician.

Medical Mistakes and High Deductibles

Because those with higher deductibles are less likely to be insistent when it comes to pushing for more tests when a cause for their symptoms is not found or are less likely to request a follow-up when symptoms persist, physicians are more likely to fail to request extra tests or schedule follow-ups with their patients. When a serious illness or condition is missed, this can put the doctor on the hook for medical malpractice. But even more devastating is that it also puts the patient at serious risk for a debilitating condition or even fatality.

The Need for Better Insurance is Not an Excuse

While the need for better insurance policies and premiums are evident, physicians should not use the cost and coverage of insurance as an excuse. Instead, they should be held responsible when they make a mistake that costs a patient in either quality or expectancy of life. However, victims should never attempt to hold them accountable on their own; instead, they should seek the assistance of a skilled and experienced attorney.

We believe in honesty, justice, and advocacy for victims of medical malpractice. And, because we understand just how much a medical mistake can impact your life, we are willing to come to you. Schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced and dedicated Chicago medical malpractice attorney to learn more.


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