This is a bit of a rant, so please bear with me… 🙂
As you’re likely aware, we have four school-aged kids. As such, it’s not uncommon to have one virus or another making its way through our house. And sometimes this results in having sick kids who need to stay home from school.
In an effort to combat truancy, our district has adopted rather strict attendance policies. The finer details of it escape me, but the short version is that we’re allowed a rather limited number of “parental excuses” for an absence to be considered excused.
Moreover, if you exceed a certain (again, rather limited) number of excused absences, you can expect to be hearing from the school district. On the flip side, the policy regarding absences excused by a doctor is much more lax.
What this creates is a situation in which parents feel obligated to take their kids to the doctor for minor ailments that would otherwise be treated with a day of rest.
In other words, the school district is unintentionally bullying parents into unnecessary visits to the doctor’s office. Either that, or they send their sick kids to school where others get infected, which just compounds the problem.
And, of course, doctor’s offices are full of sick people so going there when you don’t need to simply increases your chances of picking up an additional bug. Here again, this just compounds the problem.
While your copay might not be terribly high, your insurance is picking up the tab. And the more that insurance companies have to pay out, the higher their rates go in the future.
I’m really not sure of the solution, as I’m sure there are parents out there who would abuse a more lax policy in the name of visiting Disney World during non-peak times (or whatever). But still… Surely there must be a better way.
Obviously, we have much bigger fish to fry when it comes to the high cost of health insurance, but these sorts of policy decisions aren’t helping the situation.
End of rant. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.