Editor's note: Michael Moore's Sicko argues that the nation's health-care crisis affects not just the uninsured but also the insured, who are subject to the predations of for-profit companies. Our invitation to readers to share their personal experiences with these companies yielded a number of replies. Here is one.
I chose my health-care provider, WPS, through my employer, the Madison school district, many years ago. I am physically healthy and rarely used my health-care benefits. But then I became depressed, confused, and thought I was going crazy. I sought out mental-health services.
For several years, I received treatment. It helped me change my life and gave me hope. I was making progress.
Unfortunately, that's when the insurance company's investigation began. It seemed determined to cut off all payment for my psychotherapy, regardless of its impact on me. WPS's tactics included:
Forcing me to sign a consent form allowing the company to obtain my psychotherapy records, or else have payments cut off without an evaluation. Thus highly sensitive material was turned over to the company's investigative personnel.
Requiring my therapist to spend countless hours submitting paperwork, following certain guidelines that were constantly changed.
Breaking promises to provide information on decisions made.
Attempting to break the bond between my therapist and me. For instance, a company official told me he had gotten information that raised questions about my therapist, then refused to elaborate.
In the end, WPS concluded that my therapy was not necessary; all further claims were denied.