Harm and the Restricted Network
Updated: Sep 7, 2022
As a student in Texas, the insurance plan offered by my school was very expensive. Therefore, I went through the open enrollment system and purchased health care through that. For several years, I didn’t have any issues; however, in my last year living in Texas, I began to have some minor health issues that were persistent. These health issues required frequent visits to the doctor and several rounds of medication. I was able to manage this until I moved to a different state for a job.
In the two weeks prior to the start of my job, I desperately needed to see a doctor, as my health issues returned. Unfortunately, my health insurance only covered for me to see a doctor in the state of Texas and not in my new state of residence. I was going to be without my new job’s provided insurance for another six weeks.
With panic, I made an appointment through an organization that provides access to health care, and they provided me with the care I needed. Unfortunately, a few days later, I received news that I needed further treatment for a potentially more serious issue. I wanted to establish care with a doctor so that I could better manage this new issue. So, I called my new insurance for a list of potential doctors. After receiving this list, I had to call at least seven doctors before I found one who either accepted my insurance (even though their name was provided to me by my insurance company) or were taking new clients in less than 8 weeks.
Although I finally found a doctor who would see me, it was a stressful couple of weeks. Luckily, I had family to lean on during this time and the ability to advocate for myself; however, the system should not include so many roadblocks for people to access basic health care.