Whether he knew it or not, Mr. David McCallister was a member of the Silent Generation. Born into the second world war in 1942, he was raised by strong American ideals that have lasted throughout his entire life. Married at 30, he lived a long and prosperous life loving with kids and grandkids and his best friend and wife for 50 years. He exemplified the American spirit: strong, peaceful, and endured any struggle in silence as he shouldered the burdens of all the good and bad that is the head-of-household entailed. He was a quiet, solid man and tested the day he lost his wife to cancer. He would stand strong and carry on with a nagging sadness that he thought would last him until the end.
David was as measured as it gets. He never asked for help as he thought his responsibility in life was to be a rock, never a burden to anyone. Luckily, his kids didn’t see it that way. His son was a psychologist and would constantly implore him to get help; to talk with a professional and take medication to ease his mental burden. He fought his son tooth and nail, convinced that it was his duty to carry on even as the memories of his wife of five decades permeated his every thought. Soon though, it was intolerable and he allowed his son to help him find help with his mental health.
I‘ve Got Great Insurance, Why Won’t They Take Me?
Easier said than done. David lived in a major metropolitan area so he and his son thought finding a therapist would be easy. It wasn’t. From call after the call they heard the same thing “I don’t take any insurance.” Why not David wondered as his son sought to educate them on their plight? Psychiatrists can command hundreds of dollars an hour if they don’t go through insurance companies and this was understandably cost prohibited to David. He learned that even though he had a comprehensive Medicare plan, he would have to try and get a psychiatrist through channels other than referrals from family or friends. David and his son soon steered to what turned out to be a game-changer: a local psychiatric healthcare system.
Finally, You Do Take Insurance!
David reached out to a local hospital that not only had inpatient capacity but had an extensive outpatient network as well and this was just what he was looking for. He got an intake appointment, he got a nice therapist and he settled into a regimen of therapy and medication. He started looking forward to waking up and starting the day and realized that he could honor his cherished wife’s memory by living an active life, surrounded by the love of his family. He was allowed to use his insurance and since his doctor took the plan in an out-of-network manner, he was just left with a reasonable copay. His drugs were low-cost generic and David continued his remaining years feeling fulfilled and happy.
Moral of the Story?
Even if you don’t have a family or friend in the mental health profession, there are ways to get mental-illness therapy or set up with prescription drug coverage. If you have a quality insurance broker like me, you can overcome your initial reluctance and find out how to find a doctor that takes your plan and submit claims for the remainder. I have over 25 years in health education and insurance sales and can be your guide. If your broker can’t help get you into a therapist’s office then look elsewhere. Your insurance broker should have a solid foundation in health care, not just selling health insurance. With experience comes the knowledge of how insurance works and the acceptance of a broader fiduciary role and not as a hit-and-run commission motivated salesman. You don’t have to suffer in silence! Seniors have produced in the workforce for decades and are entitled to all parts of their medical care and if they are under my umbrella, we can get them towards a beautiful sunset.