Anesthesia bills for breast cancer
5 years ago, my then 32-year-old wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was a complete surprise to us as she has no family history, no known risk factors, and all her gene studies were negative. Due to the aggressive nature of her type of cancer she underwent a double mastectomy and 12 weeks of chemo.
At the time we were doing well financially, and thought we had good insurance, so we declined any type of financial aid. I remember specifically when the financial counselor at the hospital spoke with us my wife asked, “does everyone that requests aide receive it?” of course the answer was “no”, therefore we declined assistance so that it could go to a more needy family.
Our issue is that we later discovered the anesthesia company in which the hospital used was considered out of network and not covered by our insurance. The hospital and insurance company (verbally only) assured us it would be covered since there was no other anesthesia option available. Of course, the fine print states that if it is not covered then we our responsible.
She has remained strong and active throughout her journey. She opened and continues to run her own business. She also started a free cancer boutique to assist others with cancer related items such as prosthesis, bras, wigs, etc.
Now 5 years and several surgeries later my wife is cancer free! She is doing well, but any symptom she has makes her concerned the cancer has returned. I am sure many can relate. If she is tired, has a headache, acid reflux, or any other normal concern of daily life she gets stressed about the possible return of her breast cancer.
However, none of her anesthesia has been covered by insurance and we have been turned over to collection agencies for the balance. We have written letters, appealed, complained, procrastinated, and any other tactic we can imagine, but I think we are stuck with the bills. I have negotiated a payment plan of $100 per month essentially until the day I die. I believe the laws have since changed to eliminate this type of “surprise medical bills”, but unfortunately this was too late for us. Neither I, nor my wife, like asking for help and I am certain she would not want to be considered a burden to others.
But here I am, requesting any assistance to help with the anesthesia costs.