So, it feels like the right time to have this discussion. I decided when opening Evolve Integrative Care’s doors 4+ years ago not to take health insurance or Medicare. At that time, I wasn’t as knowledgeable about how to run a cash practice, what I was really doing and the deeper meaning behind this. But now I’m really clear on this and want to share my perspective on this matter.
1. There is nothing healthy about health insurance
First and foremost, the name ‘health insurance’ is a misnomer. It is more accurate and appropriate to call insurance in today’s world ‘sick insurance,’ as there is absolutely nothing healthy about it. Medical benefits insurance in our current Western culture is NOT designed to keep you well or ‘benefit’ you. Rather, it is designed to keep you in a system, and the only way this is possible is if you are always, on some level, sick. Think about it for a second. Sick insurance covers your medications, your visits to hospitals, your ‘screening’ tests (by the time a screening test shows disease or cancer- you’ve already got it, so no real prevention with this model), and your visits to doctors that support the idea that you are broken and need to be fixed with drugs and surgeries. What in the world is healthy about that?
Because my goal is to empower patients with the knowledge that they are not broken and are designed to heal, to get people off toxic pharmaceutical medications, and to advocate for disease reversal and optimal health, sick insurance is not a good fit for our model.
2. Investing in Self
Some time ago, a woman with multiple medical conditions (including autoimmune disease, breast cancer s/p bilateral mastectomy, osteoporosis, depression and multiple other problems) called the office inquiring about services. She was at the end of her rope, didn’t feel like conventional medical services were helping and was tired of medications and surgeries. After some discussion, I believed she was a great fit for Evolve’s Mind-Body-Spirit program and she agreed. She was tearful and joyful that she found someone to listen and legitimize her concerns.
But this honeymoon soon ended. I began discussing the logistics and the costs of this program, which led this client to have a complete meltdown. Multiple emotions including anger, frustration and sadness washed over her. She commented that she has ‘never paid more than $200 for any treatment or service when utilizing her health insurance.’ And I lovingly replied, ‘so would you say that health insurance is doing a good job at insuring you are healthy?’ Needless to say, this all didn’t go over well and she never became a client.
This phone consultation taught me something extremely valuable. It taught me that many of us would rather suffer in our physical and mental distress and disease, than invest in ourselves. I had immediate compassion for this lady and our current understanding of what is important in our society.
When did we collectively decide that our health was a negotiable item that we are willing to sacrifice? As a society we are willing to spend our entire paychecks on external rewards, including big homes, cars, eating out at restaurants, aesthetic surgeries and procedures, gym memberships, education and more, but when it is time to evaluate our internal environment, we are consistently viewing this as ‘expensive’ or needing to be supported by insurance.
Here’s the point. When we invest in self and take personal responsibility for our health, we tend to show up ready to change. When we rely on an external ‘savior,’ (whether that is a government or a doctor) to fix us, we generally don’t get to the work of healing. I’ve personally seen this time and time again. Anytime I discount or give my services away for free, those individuals typically don’t put in the work necessary to heal completely.
3. Acute Catastrophe vs. Chronic Illness
I’ve always viewed insurance as a quasi-guarantee (let’s face it, nothing in life is guaranteed or permanent) that if something catastrophic happens in my life, I can create a temporary cushion to move forward. In other words, if I get into a devastating car accident where I am severely and significantly injured, my car and health insurance allow me to get my car fixed, heal my body and get back on my feet. However, if I never got into this accident, that same car insurance wouldn’t pay for tire rotations, brake pads or oil changes, nor would I expect them to. So why do we expect health insurance to cover our ‘maintenance?’ Why do we expect our lack of self-love in the form of not eating well, not staying active, not addressing our emotional wounds and subconscious programs and not acknowledging our true nature to be paid for by an insurance company? We really need to think about our priorities and expectations.
So, there you have it. The main reasons (there are certainly more) why Evolve and many other holistic medical practices choose not to engage in health (in mean, sick) insurance. If you are ready to journey into a life of health and healing while taking responsibility for yourself, then feel free to give me a call.