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Cancer Messed With the Wrong B*tch: Insurance Companies, and Other Things That Suck

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Insurance companies suck. Anyone disagree? No? Good, let's continue. They suck.
They want you to die, don't they? I mean, if they keep denying you the treatments and
medications that will save your life, that must mean they want you to die.

Okay, maybe that seems a little harsh, but that's what it feels like to me every time I hear the word "denied." I'm sure by the end of this post, if you put yourself in my shoes, you'll feel the same way.

I mentioned briefly in my first post that I had no health insurance when I was first diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in February 2012. After being laughed off the phone, or simply hung up on, by numerous insurance companies, I found a company that would have covered me under their pre-existing condition plan... for $1,000 a month, not including co-pays, meds, etc. Needless to say, I ended that conversation without insurance. My only option was to apply for state insurance. That process took four months, five applications, and one appeal, but, eventually they approved me and I was able to breathe, and, more importantly, get treatment.

A weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

If I had known then that a year later that weight would be put right back on, and then some,
I would have started weight training during chemo, instead of shoveling in the mashed potatoes.

This past February, almost exactly a year after I was initially diagnosed, I found
out that the cancer had spread to my sternum and I had been upgraded to stage 4. And that's when the word "denied" was entered into the Guinness book of world records for the most times ever said to a single person.

I need an MRI to confirm the cancer... DENIED. I need a biopsy... DENIED. I need to switch my meds... DENIED. I need to speak to a human being... DENIED.

Fortunately my doctors understand better than the insurance company that I'm in a life or death situation, and eventually got those decisions turned around (Still waiting to speak to a human being though).

Fast forward to July, about a year after I was [finally] approved for state insurance, and I get a letter saying that I have been upgraded from DENIED, to first class, grade A TERMINATED. WTF?!

I received a letter from the devil's lair, um, I mean the insurance company, that was dated June 27th, stating that my coverage would be terminated on June 30th (for anyone that failed Kindergarten math, that's three days). In the world of insurance, three days is the average time you wait, on hold, before your call gets disconnected. What am I supposed to do in three days? Nothing. And they had no expectation of me doing anything, as the envelope the letter was sent in was postmarked July 3rd. Three days after the termination went into effect.

What was the reason for the termination? I failed to complete a re-determination form, proving that I still need coverage, that they were supposed to send me, and never did. When they didn't get the form that they never sent, they assumed (yes they used the word assumed) that I no longer needed coverage. Oh, sorry, did I forget to mention that I found a cure for cancer that requires no further treatments or follow ups or meds? Maybe that's because it hasn't happened yet! (though it would be really nice). Therefore, I still need treatment, and follow-ups, and meds. Therefore, consequently, ergo... I need effing coverage!

When asked why they didn't follow up when they never got the form from me, the wicked witch of the East, um, I mean my friendly neighborhood insurance agent, replied, "That's just not how we do things". Apparently, according to him, they don't have the manpower to follow up with every client. Yet they have the manpower, or at least, the computer power, to send termination letters. Hmmm, maybe before you send the letter, you, or your computer, should look into why you never received the form in the first place. That's what I would do if I worked for the insurance company. But, alas, I could never work for an insurance company. You see, I was born with a heart, a brain, and the courage to treat people like human beings, even when it means I might lose out in the end. So, I stay home, where I belong, and fight, not only for my life, but now for insurance to help me cover the bills that are up my stress-induced hemorrhoid-filled insurance company, um, I mean, ass.

Okay, I just gave you my shoes, put them on and tell me, doesn't it seem like the insurance company wants me to die? It sure as hell doesn't give a damn if I live. I am not their problem. They were diagnosed with ME when I was diagnosed with cancer. However, they have found a cure for the common human being. That is to ignore us, cut us off, and let us fend for ourselves. If only I could get rid of the cancer as easily as the insurance company got rid of me. Sorry cancer, you never filled out the form to let me know you wanted to stick around, so I'm kicking you out.

Where am I at now? Filling out application numero two. You see, the first application I sent in got "lost", so they sent me another one. This one includes a fax cover sheet to include with the documents I need to send in. However, nowhere, anywhere, do they tell me what documents I need to send in. Their website was down (how convenient) for almost a week. After five days of 30 minutes on hold, a "human" finally answered and said the website was still down, and she, therefore had no way to check to see what was needed. Try again next week, and the week after that, and the week after that...

Meanwhile, I have to pay for my meds (and any doctor visits) out of pocket, continuously play bill Jenga so my floor doesn't become littered with them, cancel appointments, and my reconstruction, try desperately to fill my days and nights with activity to minimize my frustration, and wait, forever, on hold...

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