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SWITCH TO SINGLE HEALTH PLAN MAY HAVE STRINGS ATTACHED

After many discussions with patients who have changed insurance plans, I must comment on a recent editorial and the "Another Voice" column by School Board President Florence Johnson.

I have no issue with attempts to save money by using a single health carrier. I do have an issue with misleading information. Not every physician is a participating member of all the local carriers. The plans that are marketed as "go to any provider" have major strings attached that the employees need to know. If I see a patient as an out-of-plan provider, my prescriptions are not honored at the pharmacies. Tests I order are not covered and surgery procedures create uncovered expenses at the surgery center.

I have had many patients come to me in the past several months since Erie County went to a single provider. They tell me that they were told by their unions that there would be no change in their providers. But when they contact the insurance company, they are told that they will be responsible for all tests, medications and other costs ordered by a "non-participating provider." Obviously, someone is not telling the truth.

Sharon Kuritzky, M.D.

Amherst