Open health plan enrollment — choose wisely

To the editor:

Open enrollment in the New York State of Health exchange began Nov. 1. I’m writing to let everyone know to choose wisely, as several insurance companies have not contracted with the Fletcher Allen campus of University of Vermont. I found this out this past year after choosing MVP and then Blue Shield of Northeast New York. It’s diabolical that the rest of UVM — including Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, Alice Hyde and Elizabethtown — do participate with these insurance companies, and one would assume that the physicians and the medical center in Burlington, being under the same umbrella, would also participate; however, that is not the case.

It can be catastrophic for anyone who happens to need treatment at UVM-Fletcher Allen. One specialist visit or treatment could cost you your hard-earned savings. If you happened to be in an accident and were transferred to Burlington, it could bankrupt you. This is what I consider to be discrimination for North Country residents who consider UVM-Fletcher Allen and their specialists as our local center of excellence.

All of this insurance contracting with various entities makes me long for (traditional) Medicare-for-all, not the Medicare Advantage plans run by insurance companies that can also decide who, what and where you can go for treatment.

For those who are eligible for Medicare, again, choose wisely.

Don’t just call your doctor’s office or the hospital. They may say that they do participate, and they very well may in all other plans except those on the NYS Health Exchange (metal plans). When I spoke with my specialist’s office, I was told that they did participate. Therefore, you must contact the insurance company directly. Get a name of the individual you speak with and document the call.

Good luck!

Kathleen Blaisel