Health Insurance Delayed Over a Freckle

By Karen

It’s been another month without approval of my cheaper, higher-deductible health insurance, and another $488 is due on my current plan, so I called the company and learned what the hold-up is.

It has nothing to do with the mysterious Saturday-morning phone quiz they gave me weeks ago. It’s over lab work I had done in January 2007.

During my annual Pap exam, my gynecologist found a small mole ‘down there,’ checked it out, and it was nothing.

The rep asked, “So the mole was non-cancerous and your Pap smear was not abnormal?”

“That’s right,” I answered.

But I wanted to scream, “No, you idiot! I found out over a year ago that I have two types of cancer, and I did absolutely nothing. Do you see any follow-up in my records, which you already have? I’m just thrilled to die so your employer can stay in the black and give you a nice bonus for jerking me around.”

The rep asked for the stupid physician’s phone number (it’s already on my application). Apparently, the doctor described my harmless freckle as scary dysplasia. Damn her doctor-speak!

This is supposed to be the last hurdle, and my new insurance should be retroactive to February 1. They’re supposed to credit the extra $110 I was forced to pay for my current coverage.

But no matter what the amount, February has passed and I’ve been afraid to get any regular checkups, so it’s money down a rat hole.

I applaud Patsy Bates, the 52-year-old hairdresser in California who just won $9 million in a suit against Health Net for canceling her when she had breast cancer. Her chemotherapy was delayed for months until she found a charity to pay her expenses. Thank heaven she lived to get revenge, and I hope she inspires thousands of similar lawsuits.

And now that the media has effectively squashed Dennis Kucinich’s presidential hopes and sent him back to Congress, I hope he’ll tenaciously fight for HR 676. This no-nonsense bill provides comprehensive universal healthcare and would revoke the power of life and death from health insurers.


2 Responses to Health Insurance Delayed Over a Freckle

  1. A simple solution to end this health insurance abuse is have the states regulate the health insurance industry just like a public utility is regulated.

    This will rein in the obscene profits made by the insurance industry taking advantage of the vulnerability of sick Americans.

    How does one deal with an eight hundred pound Gorilla that misbehaves and denies coverage for your medical bills?

    Patsy Bates found out when a California court awarded her 9 million dollars for damages.

    Her insurance carrier, Health Net cancelled coverage when she needed breast cancer treatment.

    Her lawyer, William Shernoff, not only read the book, he wrote the book: “Fight Back and Win: How to Get HMOs and Health Insurance to Pay Up”.

    Bravo for LA City Attorney Delgadillo and New York City Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for going after the health insurance industry for fraudulent practices such as cancellation for pre-existing conditions and underpayment for out-of-network doctor bills.

    To read more:

    Making Your Health Insurance Company Pay Up by Jeffrey Dach MD

    Jeffrey Dach MD

  2. catsworking says:

    Dr. Dach, thank you for writing. I checked out your site and you offer a wealth of useful information, particularly for anyone living in Florida.

    I would be satisfied to see state regulation of health insurers if the states would put some long fangs in the regulations. Unfortunately, I think they’d let the insurers bribe and walk all over them, just as Congress is doing.

    What it’s going to take to get any action on this is widespread, highly vocal public outrage and a slew of huge lawsuits against insurers. Politicians must get a clear message that their political careers will be over unless they get on the bandwagon of providing all Americans affordable medical care – like we’re all paying for THEM to have – before they’ll get serious about dealing with this disgrace.

    Another week has passed since my “freckle” conversation with my insurer, and I still have no word on the new coverage. Starting tomorrow, I will be calling them daily to check on the status until it’s resolved.

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