Them’s fighting words!
As a business owner I have had an insurance policy in place since I started my company. It is a disability insurance policy that would pay me a few thousand dollars a month if ever I was unable to work; whether for a short time or a long time. It isn’t enough to cover all the overheads I have as a business owner, it is simply enough to give me a small “salary” while I am unable to work. I have been paying into this policy for many years. I don’t even want to think about how much I have paid into it, but when I was diagnosed with cancer, I was certainly very happy that I had it in place!
This week, I received an email from the insurance company that said and I quote,
” The normal recovery period for a mastectomy is 4 weeks….there is no satisfactory medical information to support your claim. ..you remain responsible for paying your monthly premiums to maintain your policy in force.”
I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. Who comes up with these arbitrary numbers like 4 weeks for a mastectomy!? Fu#k, I still had drainage tubes inserted in my chest until week three! Maybe I should send them a link to my blog so they can see what I have been going through. Between the hematoma, lymphedema, the pain of the tissue expanders, the neuropathy in my legs, not to mention many days of depression and anxiety and just overall feeling like shit, I can see how they would come up with 4 weeks! NOT!!!!!!
I am not settling for this. After Christmas I will set up more appointments with my various doctors to see if there is something I can do to get even “some” compensation. I’ll be honest. It’s been difficult keeping everything afloat when I haven’t been able to be out generating business. And that added stress certainly doesn’t help in the healing process. I am trying so hard to keep my spirits up. To remain positive and to keep looking forward to when this journey will finally be over…but this news not only shocked me, but it upset me greatly. I am not trying to cheat anyone or “work the system” as some refer to it. I am not trying to get something extra or something I haven’t “earned.” I mean, what does it take to qualify for even some monetary compensation from a policy I have paid into for years? I guess that means that when I have my second surgery in a few months that I won’t be compensated for taking time off then either? I wonder what they have as a recovery time for that surgery? A week? Less? I guess I will find out then.
I certainly will fight this and I will have to muster the energy to do so. I keep hearing all those tacky commercials that you see on TV promoting law firms that fight insurance companies….that say “we don’t get paid, til you get paid”. I guess if I’d been hit by a car I would stand a better chance at having my claim approved; but having my breasts amputated and seeking a couple of months payment has been denied. Right now, I am just processing the email and licking the wound that their words/decision has inflicted; but there is no denying that I will be fighting their decision. Not just for the compensation but for the fact that anyone who has undergone a bilateral mastectomy should be given far more than 4 weeks recover.
And that is undeniable!
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President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.
Patti: Do not despair. No doubt this is a very unsettling letter, but there is lots you can do to resolve this. Insurance companies have a legal duty to act fairly and in good faith with their insureds, just like franchisors with their franchisees. This requires them to consider your case on a personal situation, not just what is typical for other patients. I suggest that you retain a good lawyer who has experience in dealing with insurance companies on disability matters. Some will take the case on contingency. You can also deal with this yourself at this time by getting the medical evidence from your doctors and submitting it to the insurer. However, it will likely take some time to resolve.