Skip to main content

Drew Lewis has Stage IV colon cancer. Unfortunately, he also has insurance from HealthLink, which was recently purchased by morally questionable insurance goliath, WellPoint.

You probably know where this story is going -- yes, the night before Drew's surgery some bureaucrat at HealthLink called to inform him his life was not worth $400,000 and that WellPoint shareholders, not Drew, would be taken care of:

"At 6 p.m. the night before his surgery, we were called by his insurance to let us know they had denied the surgery" -- a $400,000 bill, denied.
(Of course, Joanna Small, the professional journalist failed to name the insurer in her article, and it was necessary to visit this page to find that information.)

Well, you know what happens next, David's family disagrees with the for-profit insurer putting shareholder profits before his life, and begins to engage in the virtual form of 'placing a creatively-decorated coffee tin in the gas station to collect change for medical bills':

"Within the first day, we probably had 15 people say they went and did," said Howe of contributions to the account.

Howe didn't know it but she's crowdfunding.  And so is Amy's sister.  She set up an account at giveforward.com which has raised nearly $27 million for mostly medical causes.

Part of the appeal is it's so easy.  First, you set up a page, then set a fundraising goal and a fundraising end date.  Lastly and most importantly, you share your cause and others will too.

"It's that type of selflessness, it's overwhelming, it really is.  You can't write enough thank you notes," Amy said between tears, especially because some people contributing have never met Amy or Drew.

"It's a blessing, it really is," but not the biggest blessing of all.  Amy says that's Drew.

"He's changed my life, and I'm very proud to be his wife."

While Drew's Facebook page reports the surgery has been a success, thank God, he is still over $300,000 short of escaping bankruptcy.

First, if you can, please show some support for Drew by donating here.

And, second, consider contacting big-profit WellPoint to let them know that they should cover his surgery. Here is an email address for press relations and a phone number for the WellPoint switchboard:

Members of the news media can reach a WellPoint media relations professionals by sending an email to: jill.becher@wellpoint.com.

For all general inquiries, contact WellPoint’s Switchboard at 317-532-6000.

Shame on HealthLink, and shame on America for letting a for-profit corporation attempt to put meaningless money before a man's life.

This is the only solution.

5:46 AM PT: A much more exhaustive ABC News article worth reading claims that HealthLink is saying that they did not technically deny the surgery, but instead it was a company called 'United Security Life and Health Insurance.' It's probably both of these insurer criminals -- the family's crowdsourcing page blames HealthLink (owned by WellPoint). Nevertheless, for health insurers, the buck never stops.

You can contact United here:

United Security Life and Health

6640 S Cicero Ave.

Bedford Park, IL 60638

Phone:    (800) USL-H422

             (800) 875-4422

7:43 AM PT: One commenter is claiming that not even Medicare would pay for this experimental surgery. Well, that's possible. But we do know that a doctor asked for this surgery to proceed, and that the insurer cancelled the payment at the last minute. How experimental is this experimental surgery? Further, in a non-profit system (e.g. Medicare) when a surgery is denied for being too 'experimental', the money goes back into the pot for the health care of other individuals. When a big-profit insurer (e.g. WellPoint) denies a surgery, the money goes to the pockets of wealthy shareholders. This is a crucial difference. So, no, I'm not sympathetic to arguments surrounding -- well, maybe the NHS/Medicare/French/Medicaid would have denied this surgery, too.  

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site