Friday, December 17, 2010

Because God Said So

I'm man enough to admit not only do I not know everything, but that I continually learn new things almost every day. About a week ago there was a note on a patient's prescription asking if she had new insurance coverage for her birth control prescription.

Her response was that since she worked for a 'really religious' organization they had decided that certain medical treatments defied the will of God and that they would not pay for these items. In this case, one of these 'treatments' was birth control. There were also other 'treatments' that were not allowed, but she didn't really wish to discus them.

And no, the organization was not a church or anything similar to that.

In my mind there is no point to delve into a debate on personal beliefs because we each have our own. Mine is no more superior to yours than yours is to mine. We believe what we believe and leave it at that.

This, however, I do have a problem with. How can you deprive someone, specifically an employee, medical coverage for something because of someone else's belief? How is that fair to others?

Furthermore, how is that deemed acceptable in modern health care? What's to keep the CEO of company from deciding, "Ya know what, I don't believe in warfarin therapy because of my God the Flying Spaghetti Monster and I don't want our health insurance to cover it anymore."

Ridiculous? Sure it is, but the scary thing is that that instance really isn't terribly far from what has happened to this poor woman. She seemed like a well educated and well adjusted married adult woman who simply does not want to have children at this time. And yet she is being punished, in a way, for being responsible.

Sure she could just leave her job, but who is really willing to do that in this economy?

I'm all for expecting and honoring every one's beliefs. But when your beliefs deprive an innocent person medical coverage, then I have a bone to pick with you. Push your beliefs through pamphlets, mass emails, televisions ads, whatever pleases you.

But for the love of God, don't deprive people of their right to health care.

Pun most definately intended.


pharmacy chick said...

Because her employer is a religious organization (possibly a church) that has certain beliefs. If she works for that org, she has to (either by choice or force) to accept its restrictions. So because birth control violates its beliefs, they do not pay for it in their health plan. Because she is not paying for her health benefits, she has to accept whatever benefits are offered to her. You know, BC;s were excluded on EVERYBODY's benefits not that many years ago.

Phathead said...

Oh I realize that, and she wasn't complaining about it. It's more that you can arbitrarily decide on what is covered based upon someone's beliefs. Seems like it leaves a pretty wide open door to justify not paying for stuff.

Frantic Pharmacist said...

I wonder what kind of 'organization' this is....and for the privilege of working for them she must adhere to their religious beliefs? (a highly personal topic to begin with?) I don't like the sound of it one bit. I guess they have a right to do it but only if she was informed of ALL this up front before she was hired.

Anonymous said...

I thought by law BC had to be covered? Also, what if she is NOT taking it to prevent pregnancy but for medical reasons?

Learning the PharmD Trade said...

As for the BC use, many organizations have that restriction and I have insurance from one. In instances of "need" and not pregnancy prevention, the doctor can write an override. The real hypocrisy of the policies is that many times they do not cover the BC or vasectomies, but do cover ED meds. More kids the better, but will not help with childcare or time off to take care of kids. That is the problem I have. That is pushing beliefs to much on people.

Anonymous said...

BC was never covered by most insurance until . . . they all started to cover Viagra

Unchained Pharmacist said...

PC is right. This patient's health plan is part of an overall compensation package. It can be as inclusive or as limited as the employer wishes.

While I agree with your sentiments on this issue, I do not believe that health care is a "right."

Future Pharmacist said...

Like you said, everyone is entitled to their beliefs. If she was responsible, she wouldn't have sex. Insurance shouldn't have to pay for BC, it's a choice and not a necessity. If she wasn't ready for a baby, why is she ready for sex?

Anonymous said...

if she is an adult, and married... she can be responsible and have all the sex she wants. this isnt some 14 year old high school student. are you trying to say that you never have sex unless you're trying to get pregnant?