• Another 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 104 (Insurance Nightmare)

    My relationship with medical insurance.

    My relationship with medical insurance.

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

    Run/ Walk/ Bike/ Elliptical (Today:  3.01 miles;  Running Total: 12.63 miles)

    Day 104 of *Another* 100 Days of Good Karma.

    I’m going to start with the Silver Lining today because I believe good news should come before bad news.

    So, good news…

    Silver Lining: The ultrasound looked good yesterday. The left side still looks normal and the radiologist said that the tumors have all shrunk on the right side. So the chemotherapy is working.


    Now for the bad news.

    Holy insurance nightmare, Batman.

    On Wednesday I got a phone call from my doctor’s office saying that they would no longer be accepting my insurance as of January 1, 2015.

    After I restarted my heart, I called my insurance company. I left a voicemail for my case manager. When she finally called me back, she left a voicemail. The salient points:

    • The insurance company will honor something called Continuity of Care through September 2015.  So I’ll have some sort of coverage going into next year, but what that coverage will look like is to be determined.
    • She made sure to mention, “open enrollment in the Marketplace is November 15. Feel free to browse other insurance companies.” Reading between the lines: “You’re costing us $3,000 a week and you haven’t even had surgery yet. Please, please, please go find a new insurance company.”
    • The insurance case manager also urged me to “look at other medical providers.” Meaning, “Your doctors are too expensive.”

    What the hell?

    I don’t want other providers. I want the medical team I already know and trust.

    And I don’t want to shop for new insurance. I’m in the middle of cancer treatment. I don’t think another insurance company is allowed to reject me based on that, but the premiums are going to be insane.

    Having cancer is hard enough. The last thing I want is to deal with this shit, too.

    Looking at the webpage for my doctor’s office I see they’re accepting most insurances not involved with the Healthcare.gov Marketplace.

    All but one Marketplace plan is being dropped in 2015.

    One of the premier cancer centers in the country, maybe the world, is rejecting Obamacare. Or Obamacare is rejecting the cancer center. I don’t know which.

    What I do know: I’m caught in the middle.

    Let me be clear. I’m not opposed to Obamacare. The Marketplace plan we’ve had this year saved our asses. But this sort of red tape is infuriating and I wonder how this story is not in the news.

    So that’s where I’m at.

    Insurance is treating me like a bloody booger they can’t shake off their finger.

    The doctor’s office is treating me like I’m a leper because I have a Marketplace plan.

    And, selfishly, all I want is to not. fucking. die.

    Who knew fighting cancer would involve national politics.

    What’s your silver lining today?  I love comments!

    Don’t want to leave a comment, but have something you want to share?  Send me an email at gettingthewordswrong(at)gmail(dot)com.


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11 Responsesso far.

  1. Tina Smith says:

    ARGH!!! I’m so angry. That is not cool.

  2. Lori Carreon says:

    That is infuriating! If you need help, we have an attorney that helps with insurance benefits for people with CF but she helps all other insurance/benefits folks. She may be able to direct you on what the heck to do! Her name is Beth Sufian – 713-224-1166

  3. Pam says:

    Whoa….. That is so crazy. And I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this.

    The system is obviously completely broken. Thank u for sharing your experience…. Another useful anecdote when discussing this issue, and it’s great to have this blog post to point to.

    Thanks for writing, Meghan. I think that all the time. I’m so grateful you’re doing this project.


  4. Kristel says:

    In an effort to make you smile on a day when you sorely need it, I present to you Booger Jokes: (and a virtual hug)

    What’s the difference between boogers and broccoli?
    Kids don’t eat broccoli.

    Why did the man catch his nose?
    Because it was running

    How do you make a tissue dance?
    You put a boogie in it

    What does a booger in love tell his girl friend?
    I’m stuck on you.

    Why did the booger cross the road?
    Because he was being picked on.

    Where does your nose go when it gets hungry?
    Booger King!!!

    If you were a booger…
    I’d pick you first.

    What do you call a skinny booger?
    Slim pickins.

    What’s another name for a snail?
    A booger wearing a crash helmet.

  5. Leslee says:

    Like you didn’t have enough to worry about already!!!!! SHIT!!!!

  6. This is where I will go ahead and write that lovely President. ….. THE END

    TEAM MEGHAN!!!!!!

  7. Annette says:

    This just makes me want to punch someone in the throat!!! I will help you with this insurance issue.

    My mother in law, the attorney, is giving me advice on whom to contact.


  8. Monica says:

    You should take this to the media, and post it all over Facebook and Twitter and any other social media. Tag the word Healthcare.gov Marketplace and it will get a lot of attention. There are scripts looking for this set of words, and it will get attention.

  9. Cindy Smith says:

    I am really behind in your posts and am getting caught up today. I completely agree with those who have said to make this publicly known which I am certain you don’t really want to do. However, I know how much you like to help others so I can only say that this would surely help others as well since as you stated, “one of the premier cancer centers in the country” is giving up on Obamacare or vice versa.

    My bet is that it is them giving up on Obamacare, most likely because it is taking too long to get paid by those companies because they are also jumping through hoops because it is involved with the government. This is why many doctors and clinics no longer accept Medicaid/Medicare patients. Unfortunately, my mother got screwed by Kelsey-Seybold because of this. I know you have enough of a battle on your hands, but I hope you decide to share this story as widely as possible since you are not alone in this fight either (and we all will completely understand if you don’t want to take this public – one battle at a time is entirely enough).

    Love you!

  10. […] Justin and I applied for a new insurance policy since our old one is being a nightmare. […]

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