Medical professionals oppose insurance company proposals for insurance reform

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The insurance industry in Alberta likes to claim that their proposed auto insurance reforms will result in “more care” and better results for those injured in automobile accidents.

There’s only one problem: medical professionals don’t agree.  

Dr. Ashley Smith, a clinical specialist in musculoskeletal physiotherapy, recently reviewed the insurance industry’s proposals and believes that “more care, less courts” doesn’t mean better results for Albertans injured in motor vehicle accidents.

Dr. Smith says it’s better to have “the right care to the right person at the right time.” And further that insurance company proposals “leads one to believe that the cost and burden of care for injuries incurred in motor vehicle collisions is being transferred from the insurer to the general hard-working tax-paying Albertan public.”

Thanks to a bit of careful wordsmithing, big insurers want you to think that they’re lobbying the provincial government FOR YOU. They have YOUR best interests at heart, they say. Why tie things up in the courts with lengthy legal actions when the time and money is better spent getting more care for injured people?

Not so fast, says Dr. Smith. He points out that according to peer-reviewed and scientifically verified studies, “more” care doesn’t necessarily mean “best” care. In fact, “more” care often leads to worse outcomes. Dr. Smith goes further, pointing out that the only way for insurers to cover their promise of “ample” care is to raise premiums and include additional products, something he argues is not only unneeded but also blatantly discriminatory. “People with socio-economic disadvantage will not be able to afford higher premiums,” she says. “Chronic pain does not discriminate along socio-economic lines.”

No matter what the insurance companies want you to believe, “more care, less court” is based on what’s best for the insurance company’s bottom line, not the best interests of consumers. Albertans deserve access to the best individual care, not a fire hose soaking of so-so options.

We deserve to know that when we sign on the dotted line of our policy, we’re going to get the time we need and the medical support that’s going to help us find our way back to our best possible outcome. One size doesn’t fit all, one approach doesn’t work for everyone, one timeline for healing is ridiculous and one choice – to take what we get – is no choice at all.

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