We are looking at switching our insurance for 2012. Right now we have a group health plan that allows us to see a Dr outside the group health network. Our pediatrician is outside the network, and she is amazing. She does not bug us about vaxxing, and is in general very laid back and on par with our beliefs.
The group health plan we are looking at would save us a significant amount of money, but it would require staying in network. We are expecting another baby and looking at all the baby well exams next year, but the thought of ending up with a Dr that is not selective / delayed vax friendly is very concerning to us.
Can anyone speak positively to their pediatrics group in any area? We have used their urgent care for the kids and never gotten flack there for our vax choices (and in general have had really positive experiences with their staff in every dept)... However, I got some weird letter in the mail from GH a few months ago saying "is your child up to date on vaccines? these are the recommended ones by this age" and I'm afraid that means they have some sort of institutional policy that would make going there very difficult. I don't mind having to argue or disagree a bit, but I don't want to have anything serious come of it.
We have been using Group Health for the past 10+ years with no problems. Our children are vaccinted on an alternate schedule (delayed, some skipped altogether). What I have found is that I just went in confident and was clear what I wanted. We started seeing our pediatrician when my oldest was 18 months. By the time my DS was born, the doctor was already not even *showing* us all the vax forms (as in, "I don't think you'll want these, they're not necessary--- how do you feel about these ones?"). Most recently my DD did not get the gardasil vaccine (at her 11 or 12 year appointment) and nothing negative was said. They will generally offer the first time, confirm you don't want them after that.
I can't confirm all doctors are the same, of course. What i have found, though, that Group Health since it is an HMO is VERY positive about preventative care. When we went in for my son's 3.5 year check-up the standard sheet they gave out even mentioned breastfeeding as something you may still be doing! They also, in general, are very anti-random antibiotic (we saw a different doctor once and he explained how the infection would not be helped by anti-biotics, which I knew, but I thought it was great that they had the standard that anti-biotics were not the first response).
We had to move away from Group Health in September because my DP moved jobs and I wish I could go back!
I don't have experience with Group Health, but a dear friend of mine went through a terrible experience with them last year. She has not vaxed her children and has been in the group health system since the oldest was born, so about 7 years or so, and they seemed to be okay with not vaxing. However, her toddler cut her finger and she took her in to get the wound stitched/glued. The doctor insisted they give the tetanus vax, and when she refused Group Health called CPS on her. This was very serious and they opened up a full case and investigation. Our friends got an attorney, they presented all the research that they could find on the subject (it was tremendous), including information that if the child had contracted tetanus through the cut that the vax would not help. And it still came down to either they gave her the vaccination or they would take the kid away. This was a horrible situation and a total miscarriage of justice on the part of Group Health and CPS.