By Amy Alkon
shared this story
from Advice Goddess Blog.
“Affordable” Health Care: It Could Kill You
Stephen Blackwood tells the story of his mother, who has cancer, and the effect of the “Affordable” Care Act on her ability to continue living — and without going broke.
Like me, she had affordable care before the “Affordable” care came along. Obamacare killed her plan. Blackwood writes in the WSJ:
She’d had a Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan for nearly 20 years. It was expensive, but given that it covered her very expensive treatment, it was a terrific plan. It gave her access to any specialist or surgeon, and to the Sandostatin and other medications that were keeping her alive.
And then, because our lawmakers and president thought they could do better, she had nothing. Her old plan, now considered illegal under the new health law, had been canceled.
Because the exchange website in her state (Virginia) was not working, she went directly to insurers’ websites and telephoned them, one by one, over dozens of hours. As a medical-office manager, she had decades of experience navigating the enormous problems of even our pre-ObamaCare system. But nothing could have prepared her for the bureaucratic morass she now had to traverse.
The repeated and prolonged phone waits were Sisyphean, the competence and customer service abysmal. When finally she found a plan that looked like it would cover her Sandostatin and other cancer treatments, she called the insurer, Humana, to confirm that it would do so. The enrollment agent said that after she met her deductible, all treatments and medications–including those for her cancer–would be covered at 100%. Because, however, the enrollment agents did not–unbelievable though this may seem–have access to the “coverage formularies” for the plans they were selling, they said the only way to find out in detail what was in the plan was to buy the plan. (Does that remind you of anyone?)
With no other options, she bought the plan and was approved on Nov. 22. Because by January the plan was still not showing up on her online Humana account, however, she repeatedly called to confirm that it was active. The agents told her not to worry, she was definitely covered.
Then on Feb. 12, just before going into (yet another) surgery, she was informed by Humana that it would not, in fact, cover her Sandostatin, or other cancer-related medications. The cost of the Sandostatin alone, since Jan. 1, was $14,000, and the company was refusing to pay.
The news was dumbfounding. This is a …read more