Insurance decisions raise stress

By Carol Paris, M.D.
The Tennessean, Letters, Oct. 4, 2016

I've just received my letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee informing me that they have reached "the difficult yet necessary decision" to withdraw from the Nashville market.

In one more year I can finally get some piece of mind; I will turn 65 and qualify for Medicare. What about my daughter and her family and all the other Tennesseans affected by this decision?

Once again, needless time will be spent exploring diminishing options and undoubtedly deciding to accept more risk (and stress) in the form of higher deductibles and co-pays so that monthly premiums can be worked into the already strained family budget.

This stress has become an epidemic in this country and it has a name: PIISD (pronounced "pissed"), Private Insurance Induced Stress Disorder. If you avoid seeking medical care because of cost, if you can't afford to take needed medication as prescribed because of cost and worst of all, if you avoid talking about this because you feel ashamed and alone, you meet the diagnostic criteria for PIISD.

Although the majority of the American population has gotten PIISD, we have not decided to demand the cure, an improved and expanded Medicare for all. What is it going to take?

Dr. Carol Paris resides in Nashville.