You don’t need the internet

Monday morning, I was at the doctor’s office for a minor, routine issue. Despite the simplicity of the visit, being ever the hypochondriac, I launched into a list of concerns, peppering my patient doctor with questions like, “well, I researched this on-line and it says….” and “I got nervous because WebMD said this might be a problem…” After listening to my Yahoo-Answers generated nerousis, my doctor said something that made me pause:

“Just call us,” she said, “you have health insurance. You don’t need the internet to answer your questions. That’s what health insurance means, you can talk to a doctor.”

It was so simple, but it’s stuck with me all week. I am so fortunate to have health insurance, and for years, I’ve rattled off the top-line reasons why it matters: having health insurance means you don’t have to go bankrupt over a medical issue, having health insurance means you don’t have to get sicker because you can’t see a doctor, having health insurance means you can go to sleep at night not worrying about what would happen to you or your family if you start to feel sick.

This is what I think about all the time, and this is why access to health insurance matters to me. Still, even though the big picture is crystal clear, I so appreciated my doctor’s patient reminder about what it means for peace of mind. It means that I can call a doctor- I don’t have to stay up, furiously fretting over WebMD articles, confused about what to do. Even with the big picture, that simple reassurance means something, and it means a lot to me.

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