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Cancer Patient’s Treatment in Jeopardy

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Maplewood, Minnesota, Greg. Hello, welcome to the EIB Network.  Nice to have you.

CALLER:  Hi, Rush.  It's an honor to speak with you.

RUSH:  Thank you very much, sir.

CALLER:  I want to get to the point.  I have two cancers.  My insurance company is MCHA, which is Minnesota Comprehensive Health Insurance, which was dropped October 1st. Because of all the problems they were having they extended it to the next year.  Now, my question for you is, I'm in need of a stem cell replacement surgery, which has already been approved by MCHA.  Now, if I go to another insurance company, even though they say I'd have to be accepted to the insurance, where's the guarantee that they're gonna accept me to have this stem cell replacement surgery since that's my last defense of my disease?

RUSH:  And so you're asking me if you will qualify for insurance and treatment under the next plan?

CALLER:  I know I will qualify for the insurance, but are they gonna follow through and accept the stem cell replacement surgery?  My stem cells are frozen right now at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

RUSH:  Well, now, why wouldn't they?

CALLER:  Because they never follow through with all their decisions now.  If they do that, I would be very happy.  But talking with the insurance companies, nobody can guarantee that they'll follow through with the treatment.

RUSH:  Even though you will have insurance for it?

CALLER:  Correct.

RUSH:  Well, I don't know that I'm qualified to answer this.  The only thing I could do is give you a wild guess, based on what's happening to other people.  You're basically saying if you like your stem cell treatment, will you be able to keep it?

CALLER:  Correct.

RUSH:  And the history is no.  I mean, sadly, if you like your doctor, you were gonna be able to keep him, but you can't. If you liked your policy, you're gonna be able to keep that, but you can't.  And it's a crapshoot.  It's all about level of treatment and what some distant third party who doesn't care, has no personal stake, is gonna make a judgment on the cost and whether or not it makes sense to be spent on you.

CALLER:  And that's what I'm getting at, because I cannot accept any more treatments after the stem cell replacement is done, according to my doctor at Mayo.  The chemotherapy will not help after that, so the stem cell replacement surgery is my last defense, for say like a chemotherapy.

RUSH:  And you can't find anybody right now that will assure you that that stem cell treatment will occur?  Is that right?

CALLER:  Correct.  Through the exchanges that I'm going through.

RUSH:  Yeah.

CALLER:  Through the state exchange.  When I called the insurance company, they said, "You are on our state exchange." When I call them, they say, well, you know, yes, they will review the stem cell replacement surgery --

RUSH:  I don't know.

CALLER:  -- but that doesn't guarantee you to get it.

RUSH:  This is so frustrating.  I mean, this ought to be between you and your doctor and your insurance company, and you gotta go through this bunch of hoops that they tell us is an improvement.  This is just insulting.  My heart goes out to you, Greg.  This is absurd.

END TRANSCRIPT

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