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How much does insurance influence doctors' decisions?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

For doctors, health insurance is one of the most influential factors we deal with in practicing medicine, just under saving patients’ lives. For example, let’s say we have a medication that is perfect for you but costs $140 a month after insurance; a less good medication costs $4 a month after insurance. Your doc often elects second best for you so you have a few bucks left to eat. Similarly, the insurance coverage drives almost every other medical decision we make, including which tests and procedures we can use to diagnose and treat patients, and even which patients we care for. Doctors act independently of this concern usually only when making life-and-death decisions, and usually is the operative word.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.