By Allen Lin, Staff Writer-
MEDTalk returned for the second portion of the five-part series to discuss the out-of-date policies insurance companies use to define “family.”
“Insurance and Healthcare’s Struggles to Keep Up with the Changing Reality of American Family” was held on March 2 on Zoom. The event featured Dr. Elizabeth Stefanik, a professor of sociology at UTC, to talk about polyamorous couples and insurance coverage exclusion.
“Polyamory is a form of consensual non-monogamy, where a person may have multiple partners and about 20% of the US population practice polyamory,” Stefanik said.
The problem is the insurance companies can decide whether to cover the individual based on family structure. Oftentimes, polyamorous couples are left out because they do not fit the mold of a traditional family.
Additionally, the healthcare system and insurance companies can be discriminatory when it comes to issues like gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapies, which can be considered as electives and are not covered by an insurance policy.
Theresa Blackman, the host of the MEDTalk series and the pre-health professions advisor, talked about the importance of understanding the disparity and discrimination in our healthcare systems and insurance.
“I think this topic is important because no one should have to worry if they are able to go to the doctor or have access to a medical procedure or family member simply because of how they identify,” Blackman said. “I hope that folks are inspired to advocate for more inclusiveness in healthcare and insurance. That is a strong positive for universal healthcare, it does not matter how you are defined, if you are a citizen of that nation, you have medical coverage and rights.”
One student and multiple faculty members attended the session. You can register for future events here.