Doctor Forgoes Employer's Health Plan

A Doctor's Insurance Challenges

Nicholson said it is too early in his experiment to know much about the individual health insurance market, aside from what he learned in his role as a doctor.

Some of the frustrations, he said, arise from determining what an individual patient's plan will cover.

However, he said, greater frustrations arise from concerns he has about simply listening to his patients and completing their medical records.

He told of one patient who had lost a job and whose life was falling apart.

"They disclosed to me that they were thinking of ending their own life because it was so hopeless," he said.

After the patient got a new job, that depression was considered a pre-existing condition.

"You have to worry what you start documenting on people, that it's going to be used against them," Nicholson said. "If you can't be safe telling your doctor what your problems are, you've got a lot of big problems in health care.

"I just think the simple idea is that everybody in the health care equation had to put the patient first, even in the most paltry sense," he said. "That would make a huge difference in our health care system."

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