Thursday, July 23, 2015

Insurance Companies Suck Eggs and Love the Aftertaste

Let's discuss insurance companies for a moment as they are a big topic today.   I will avoid politics and calling out of parties and politicians because that is divisive and we need unity on this.   It affects us all and we do not know the impact until it is too late.   Yes, this is that serious.

I am a cancer patient and one time survivor who is trying to go for two.   After major rectal and colon surgery in early 2014, a recent colonoscopy found a tad bit more cancer that will now require half my colon being removed.  Prior to this procedure, a full body PET Scan is needed to make sure there are no other terroristic cancer cells lying in wait for their coming out party.   MY surgeon said if there is cancer elsewhere in my body then the operation he has planned  becomes moot and a different course of action will be necessary.   The insurance company did not agree and blocked the scan; they decided on the morning of my scan to request more notes from my doctor to show medical necessity.   They did not inform either me or my doctor; only the lab knew and they were told two hours before the procedure was to begin.  Do you see a problem?

Here is my question: why can an insurance, why can some non-medically trained person working for an insurance company get between my doctor and me and actually have  stronger voice in my treatment than my doctor?  The techs at the lab looked over what was sent to them and said it was "self explanatory" why I was having the scan done.   My guess is that once again my age made them think they could delay it.

This is not the first time I believe my age has come into play with my treatment and I fear it will not be the last.   Getting cancer young is not something people want to consider is actually a possibility.    Either that, or they just don't believe someone under 50 is suffering since the industry standard for screening for this type of cancer doesn't start until that age.   I started showing symptoms around 38 I have come to realize; diagnosed at 41.   Sorry, but my life forgot to check with industry standards.

And let's be honest: it is quite stressing to not only have to fight cancer, but to also have to constantly prove I have it.   These non-doctors have no business basing life and death decisions on some cookie-cutter handbook filled with "if/then" formulas that determine care.   My doctor went to school!   I bet they took an online course and my life is in their hands?  I face better odds with cancer.   At least the cancer needs me alive to survive; this insurance company already has my money and probably already has me replaced.   My death would simply be a statistic, a line on a profit ledger, and nothing more.

Now for the good news.   The people at the scan lab called my doctor's office who in turn called the insurance company.   I'm not sure what was said exactly, but less than 20 minutes later it was reversed and my scan was back on with their reluctant blessings.   It was quick, painless, and I believe the results will be in my favor.  

I hope the results are in my favor.   Not because I fear cancer; been there done that.   No, I hope the results are in my favor because I am afraid of the insurance company and having to fight them again.    This is par for the course for cancer community from what I have been hearing.    We have enough stress with our bodies trying to kill us, we really don't need the health insurance industry betting against us too.

I can't wait to see what they have in store for my operation.

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