Insurance Companies Be Damned!!!

Frustration with insurance companies is mounting.  Tate was scheduled to have a PET scan on Monday after his 3rd round of chemo.  A PET scan will give the doctors a good sense of how well the chemo and radiation have worked thus far.  This means that they can change the chemo protocol if the results aren’t what was anticipated.

On Friday Tate received a phone call from the oncologist’s office that said that he couldn’t have the PET scan on Monday as was planned.  He was told the insurance company hadn’t cleared the procedure.  Yesterday a letter arrived from the insurance company that explained the delay.  They were denying the procedure, saying it wasn’t “medically necessary”.  They don’t think that the procedure should be done until the end of the chemo.  This totally negates the idea that the scan should be done so that  if it isn’t working well the protocol can be changed earlier rather than later.

We’re lucky.  The oncologist’s office is willing to fight for Tate’s need for the scan.  But insurance companies know that if the doctor doesn’t take on the battle, as many doctors won’t, people may not have the time or energy for the fight.  When people are very sick, especially if they don’t have advocates, they are less likely to get into an all-out battle with an insurance company.  And that’s what the insurance company counts on.

So now we’re hoping that the scan will be done on Tuesday.  And if the insurance company continues to deny his right to have the procedure, we could be in for a long fight.

So, insurance companies be damned!

Hoping for the best,



  1. #1 by SteveG on April 22, 2012 - 4:11 pm

    I can’t BELIVE this – if we want to mount a “public” campaign in any way let me know, I don’t know if insurance companies respond to others calling – this goes against common sense!

  2. #2 by Gregory Tate on April 22, 2012 - 4:47 pm

    You know it would be all together a different thing if I didn’t pay them a TRULY EXORBITANT amount of money every month to provide me with coverage. It would even be different if they had the simple nerve to say “Okay here it is. This test is expensive. We don’t like how it’s going to impact our bottom line. We don’t want to pay for it.” Which is after all the real truth here. But to call it “not a medical necessity”. For whom? Forget me. What about every member of my family who is yanking their hair right now? What about the collective mental and emotional health of people who have been waiting to hear the results of this test for weeks and months?

    Health care and bottom line should not be in the same conciousness. We will never be a “great country” as long as it is.

  3. #3 by Lucy Rosenblatt on April 22, 2012 - 4:51 pm

    As Tate would say “Grrrr!!!!”

  4. #4 by Elvy Stepinoff on April 22, 2012 - 5:23 pm

    I am so very sorry that you are experiencing this kind of horrific greed from the “managed care” people. I have had the experience myself, many times and it enrages me too. And then people have the nerve to say that those in countries with single provider systems have to “wait a long time” for care have no idea what it is to be sick in this country!
    The good news is that the doctor is fighting for you and is likely to prevail, at least that has often been my experience as well. If not, I go with Steve, make it public! I’ll be there for you!

    PS How come your posts are dated April 22 at 4:47 PM, when I am reading and writing this at 1:23 PM? Cyberspace is weird!

  5. #5 by me on April 22, 2012 - 5:24 pm

    My grandmother died in 1981, when hospice was just gaining legitimacy. She had a brain tumor and Hartford Hospital said there was nothing more they could do, and my grandfather demanded they do something other than just send her home. So they sent her to hospice in Branford. A month or two after she passed away, my grandfather called my dad and said “I just got a bill for $10,000.” My dad wrote a letter a week until the insurance company finally agreed to take it on. The people at hospice were so grateful that he did that because it set a precedent that made a difference to who knows how many after. It fascinates me that my dad, who in most other situations is usually Mr. Don’t Rock The Boat, took on the insurance industry in the insurance capital of the world, the industry that made the fortunes for so many of their relatives, in the city that he and his parents grew up in.

    Tell your story and tell it loud, dude. Insert hug here.

  6. #6 by Mari on April 22, 2012 - 7:02 pm

    It is so fucking ridiculous their reasoning for waiting. They just don’t want to pay the money. I can’t even imagine someone gong through this without any insurance. Lets hope the doctors keep fighting.

  7. #7 by JoAnne Bauer on April 23, 2012 - 1:00 am

    Yes, we shall take on the insurance companies!

  8. #8 by Velina Brown on April 24, 2012 - 12:49 am

    (Sigh) That sucks. I’m glad that you have such good doctors who are willing to fight. Good luck.
    Another rascal that needs smacking is insurance companies.

  9. #9 by Allie Rosenblatt on April 24, 2012 - 1:45 am

    This kind of shit makes me more angry than anything!! The fact someone dealing with an illness should have to deal with the insurance companies is so freaking unjust!! Hang in there.

  10. #10 by Ellen Callas on April 30, 2012 - 8:49 pm

    Wow, “damaged care” strikes again. Stay strong in spite of those creeps and especially stick with the yogurt! Can’t go wrong with the Greek, eh? XXXOOO

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