I now know of two people who have been told that they must take some form of anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication or they will be terminated from their long term disability and stop receiving benefits. They have both been approved for long term disability/stress leave and the insurance is through their workplace with the premiums being paid by the company. Both are located in Ontario and this is supplementary health insurance through a private provider that pays them a portion of their salary, not OHIP or some other government program.
They are making good faith efforts to get better but have basically been told they have to have a prescription from a doctor for some type medication for mental illness or they loose their coverage. This means they basically have to ask a doctor to prescribe something they don’t want or probably even need. In both cases a multiple doctors, including psychiatrists, agreed that they required stress leave. The doctors only prescribed medications after being asked to do so by their patients. Both requested some sort of counselling and doctors once again agreed that would be a prudent course of action but these requests were denied in favor of drugs by the insurance company.
They’ve been allowed to choose to change drugs but neither feel any have helped their symptoms and yet still must request some other drug from their physician or lose their coverage. They were also threatened with potentially providing urine samples to prove they were taking these drugs, are insurance companies allowed to force you to submit a urine sample as a condition of continued coverage?
It seems like the insurance company simply doesn’t want to pay for therapy and is essentially forcing people to take drugs they don’t want or need, is it legal for them to essentially force you to take medication?
Even if legal I feel it is a despicable practice and is something that bears further scrutiny. I find it wrong that an insurer is allowed to manipulate someone into requesting drugs they don’t want from their doctor under the threat of losing their benefits.