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Petitioning United Healthcare

Approve my Myoelectric Prosthesis

November 2, 2016, I had a traumatic amputation of my left hand. I lost my hand while trying to put out a firework with water. I didn't know that a firework with a wax fuse could not be put out with water, the water actually accelerated the explosion. Exploding my whole hand. I am amputated at my wrist. Prior to the accident, I was in my third year studying Industrial Technology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I was an active member of the Pride of Acadiana Marching Band and could play almost every brass instrument, guitar and piano. I also loved to cook and workout. Not only did I lose the ability to do the things I love but I also lost the ability to do things I need to care for myself. This will be the first year I will not march in the marching band. Because of this, I lost my band scholarship that paid for my housing in college. I thought I would have a prosthesis by now, but due to ongoing issues with our health insurance, my life has been put on pause. I am covered by my Step- Father's insurance plan (United Healthcare) and my secondary insurance (Gilsbar) provided by my Father.  United Healthcare is saying it is not medically necessary, even though my Doctors and Occupational Therapist all say I would thrive with the Bebontic (myoelectric) prosthesis and is medically necessary. With as much insurance as I have you would think I wouldn't be having so many problem. My secondary says they can't pay because my primary insurance is saying it's not medically necessary; even though a team of doctors who know me and treat me say it is. I am back at college and trying to manage life as best as I can. I struggle with everyday things like tying my shoes, brushing my hair, dressing , cleaning and cooking. There is a list of things I can not do without assistance. Not to even mention how difficult my engineering classes are in college cause I need two hands. A basic body powered hook is not going to give me the grip patterns, and the ability to control how hard or soft I hold something.  Having this prosthesis would give me my independence back. This prosthesis would boost my self confidence and optimism toward the future. Which I truly believe would dramatically improve my quality of life and the ability to take care of myself. My Mother and I have been fighting with my insurance for over 9 months to cover what they are supposed to cover. I just want my life back.  If you would like to donate please do it here. Anything will help! Thanks! https://www.gofundme.com/a-prosthesis-for-my-brother

Michael Montgomery
87,129 supporters
Victory
Petitioning United Healthcare

Approve my myoelectric prosthetic hand

I am 27 years old and my name is Ashley Riojas. In May 2014, I noticed a lump in my right palm and had a biopsy done I was told I had a stage 2 sarcoma, a rare type of cancer. I went through six intensive high grade chemotherapy sessions, and at several points during that period, I felt like I was going to die.   Even after all of that chemotherapy, my right hand ended up having to be removed just above the wrist. It was the only way to be sure the tumor was fully gone, and that the cancer wouldn’t spread.  It was hard to lose my hand, but I now have hope -- Hanger Clinic: Orthotic and Prosthetic Solutions have introduced me to a myoelectric prosthetic, which works off the muscles firing in my right arm. The device gives me the flexibility to perform a wide range of daily activities with improved control, accuracy, and ease-of-use. When the clinic asked for approval for a prosthetic from my insurance company -- United Healthcare -- I was denied. The reason they gave me was that the prosthetic I am requesting exceeds medical necessity. Please help with anything you can. I would love to try and raise the money on our own. Donation page My life has been changed. I struggle to do so many things that most people take for granted: cleaning my own home, getting dressed, picking something heavy up, cooking my meals, just to name a few. I have been slowed down in all aspects of my work, including having to wear a headset so I can type with my only hand, typing slower because I am only using one hand, and having to learn how to write with my left hand. I need a hand … a helping one, and an actual one.

Ashley Riojas
70,442 supporters
Closed
Petitioning United Healthcare

Our teen daughter deserves a day without pain. Help her get needed Autoimmune treatment.

A single mosquito bite changed my daughter Liana’s life. What began as a mild case of meningitis, encephalitis, and viral arthritis morphed into a collection of Autoimmune disorders that have plagued her since she was 9 years old. Unfortunately, her best chance at treatment (and a normal life) is the one our insurance company, UnitedHealthcare, refuses to cover. Our once healthy, athletic daughter now experiences debilitating abdominal pain, insomnia, headaches, whole body pain/neuropathic pain, nausea, painful joints, and severe fatigue. She’s also 40 pounds heavier due to illness-driven metabolic issues. The physical and emotional impact of her autoimmune condition is significant. She has trouble sleeping due to the dysfunction of her autonomic nervous system, also known as Dysautonomia. Dysautonomia is often accompanied by Gastroparesis or a dysfunction of the nerves of the gastrointestinal tract, causing slow and painful digestion.  Social impact is also difficult:  friends don't come to visit and when they do, they don't know how to talk about her condition or understand its full impact. UnitedHealthcare coverage policy requires conventional Autoimmune treatments to be used first before any other treatments are considered. The first line treatments for Autoimmune neuropathies like Liana’s are Cortisone and Lyrica. However, these are not ideal treatments for teenage girls and cortisone has significant long-term effects on the body, including weight gain. Intravenous immunoglobulin therapy, IVIG, or biologic drugs like Rituxan, on the other hand, are less destructive on the body's internal systems, however, these two treatments are very expensive ($15K-$30/Treatment and up to $100K/year.  These alternatives though begin to work right away (IVIG) in improving the quality of life for many young women who have autoimmune conditions.  Rituxan takes a bit longer for the body to respond to. Our family began petitioning United Healthcare for IVIG treatment last summer. By early 2017, we had exhausted all of our appeals for the treatment, and Liana’s condition has become worse.  We are now petitioning for the biologic drug Rituxan. It has been 4 years since Liana has had even a single day in which she’s felt normal and healthy. She only leaves the house once per week -- for doctor's appointments. At the very least, she deserves to have hope for a future and life without a daily pain.  Liana's middle name is Hope. Please sign and share this petition asking UnitedHealthcare to allow IVIG or Rituxan treatment for Autoimmune disorders. Young people across the country, like our daughter, are suffering every single day -- and UnitedHealthcare has the power to reverse this condition, provided they act promptly to these autoimmune conditions.  One to two years after diagnosis is much too long.  

Suzanne Matson
53,985 supporters
Petitioning Papa Francisco, Juan Carlos Varela, Iglesia Católica, Arzobispo , Arzobispo de Panamá, Asamblea Nacional de Panama, El Vaticano, Jornada Mundial de la Juventud, jmj , El País, Miami Herald, CNN, LA...

Que le devuelvan la Hacienda Santa Monica a los niños pobres de Panamá.

En Panamá hay medio millón de niños pobres, 200,000 niños viven en extrema pobreza. Muchos de estos niños solo tienen una madre que sirve como Madre y Padre a la vez. Estas guerreras Panameñas se levantan todos los días a las 4am con una sonrisa en cara para tomar un pésimo sistema de transporte y llegar a un trabajo donde les pagan mal. Ese es el Panamá que vivimos, el Panamá de dos países, el Panamá de los que tienen dinero y el Panamá de los que no tienen. Se acabo la clase media. Se acabo la justicia, y se acabo la solidaridad. Vivimos en un país donde las leyes se aplican para los pobres y no para los ricos. Pero de vez en cuando llega a Panamá un hombre rico, con un corazón grande. Esa es la historia del Sr. Charles Lucom, un hombre Norte Americano que hizo su plata con mucho esfuerzo y sudor en Panamá. Y cuando murió, decidió dejarle en su testamento a los Niños Pobres de Panamá un regalo. Les regaló la Hacienda Santa Mónica. La Hacienda Santa Mónica queda en Antón y colinda con Buenaventura y Juan Hombrón. La Hacienda tiene alrededor de 700 hectáreas de terreno (que valen más de $800 millones) y se le fue regalada a los niños pobres de Panamá por el Sr Lucom como dice su testamento. Como los niños pobres de Panamá no cuentan con un representante legal, el Sr Alberto Vallarino y su pandilla de abogados deciden asaltar a los 500,000 niños pobres de Panamá y robarles la Hacienda Santa Mónica. El Sr Vallarino con sus secuaces utilizaron el corrupto sistema Judicial Panameño y cambiaron el Testamento del Sr. Lucom y se quedaron con Hacienda Santa Mónica.  Queremos que se haga justicia y le devuelvan la Hacienda Santa Mónica a los niños pobres de Panamá como lo quiso el Sr. Lucom en su testamento. Gracias, Los niños pobres de Panamá.

Niños pobres De Panamá
41,865 supporters
Petitioning Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Cigna, Humana, Anthem, Kaiser Permanente, medi-cal, Medicaid, U​.​S. Governors, Aetna

Homebirths need to be fully covered by insurance companies during COVID-19 and always!

Dear Insurance companies,   I am a birth rights advocate writing you on behalf of every pregnant and birthing person amongst this COVID-19 pandemic and always! Birthing at home with a midwife is NOT a luxury, it never has been, and it most certainly is not during this pandemic. With “stay at home” orders in place, and pregnant people being described as some of the most vulnerable, it is a necessity for healthy pregnant people to have medical insurance coverage to birth at home with midwives to reduce their exposure to COVID-19, which will soon be taking over hospitals. Hospitals will be running out of space, personnel will be limited and pregnant people will be forced to birth under less than healthy environments.  Hospitals are already limiting support people and also advising pregnant people to undergo unnecessary cesareans due to COVID-19. Not only is this completely unnecessary, it is unhealthy for the birther and baby. Many birthers during this pandemic want to switch from hospital birth to homebirth, as to minimize their exposure and maximize their health. But health insurance companies are not fully covering homebirths with midwives and it’s leaving parents and babies in predicaments they do not need to be in. Parents should not be forced to birth in a hospital where sick people congregate. Pregnancy is not an illness. It’s a normal function. You have the capability to cover homebirth midwives during this pandemic which means healthier parents, healthier babies, YOU save money, you keep hospitals helping people who really need the help, and you lessen the exposure of COVID-19 to parents and babies. Homebirths with a low-risk parent and baby are SAFE and reasonable, especially considering our circumstances. I have had a homebirth myself and can say that the care I received was impeccable and far cheaper than a hospital birth. I run a very large social media outlet with over 1 million people who are either pregnant, nursing, birth workers, parents, or learning about birth and options. PEOPLE WANT THE OPTION TO BIRTH AT HOME WITH INSURANCE COVERING THEIR MIDWIVES. Hospitals are now removing all support people from labor and delivery, forcing people to birth alone in hospitals, even without their partners.  If prisons are letting out non-violent offenders to minimize the spread of this virus, why are you not doing your part as well? If there was ever a time to insure homebirths, IT IS NOW!  

Flor Cruz
35,749 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Health and Human Services, United Healthcare, Aetna, President of the United States, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Michelle Obama

Wheelchair repair reform: Mobility is a human right

Healthcare in America leaves disabled people stranded for months, even years because of barriers to healthcare services that dictate wheelchair & mobility device repairs. A mobility device is not a luxury item, it is a medical necessity needed for disabled people to live independent lives. The average wait time on a mobility device repair can range anywhere from one month to a year. There are a few problems that need to be fixed within the framework of healthcare and disability rights in regards to mobility device repairs. 1. A reasonable wait timeIt is absurd that someone can potentially be bed-ridden for months because the wheelchair vendor is taking their time submitting a claim while going through all the steps the insurance company requires. This puts disabled lives in danger every single day. After submitting a mobility device repair claim to the insurance company, it can take months for an answer. We must put restrictions in place on how long an insurance company has to respond to a mobility device claim. 2. End the mobility device repair monopoly Many disabled people have Medicaid as their insurance. Even if somebody has private insurance, the insurance companies only have contracts with two large mobility device companies. The in-network wheelchair  vendors are very limited & give disabled people hardly any options on who services their mobility device. In other words, these large companies have a monopoly with insurance companies on mobility device profits. The companies know this, and they take advantage of their customers. In the more simple terms, it’s basically like being able to only see one doctor. The insurance company you have will not give you any other options, so if you do not like the doctor, oh well. Insurance companies must start contracting with smaller vendors (like Ocean Conversion in south FL). There must be change. The disability community is at the mercy of the services we rely on to live. Having only vendor option and waiting months on end to get a mobility device that repair is not acceptable by any human rights standard. Accessibility is a human right, not a privilege.

Alex Dacy
24,670 supporters
Petitioning Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, United Healthcare, Cigna, Your Department of Insurance, CMS Medicare

Insurance Companies deny therapy to children for PT/OT/ST during global COVID-19 pandemic.

BCBS / UHC / Cigna / and Aetna are denying coverage for their beneficiaries to participate in telehealth in the therapy sector for occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy. We need your help to start the change needed so children can continue with their treatment plans while quarantined and social distancing.  Please consider signing our petition.  In several counties we have been told to shut down businesses due to widespread cases of COVID-19 being reported. According to the newly released CDC guidelines, the President of the United States, as well as state and local officials have stated that we are to immediately implement social distancing and to avoid any gatherings of 10 people or more. Many clinics have more than 10 employees. This alone exceeds the CDC recommendations. We are completely unable to provide traditional in person therapy and are being advised by our therapy governing bodies and officials to move all therapy services to telehealth. There are a number of reasons why we believe that Insurance companies should be pro-actively working to help small businesses and other businesses overcome the hurdle of being reimbursed by insurance providers for all telehealth services. We are being told by BCBS / UHC / Cigna / Aetna that they will not allow all plans to accept and reimburse for Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Physical Therapy services due to CMS Guidelines. However as of 12:12 pm on 3/17/20 the following presser was released: "The Trump Administration today announced expanded Medicare telehealth coverage that will enable beneficiaries to receive a wider range of healthcare services from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility. Beginning on March 6, 2020, Medicare—administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)—will temporarily pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for beneficiaries residing across the entire country." “The Trump Administration is taking swift and bold action to give patients greater access to care through telehealth during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Administrator Seema Verma. “These changes allow seniors to communicate with their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility so that they can limit the risk of exposure and spread of this virus. Clinicians on the frontlines will now have greater flexibility to safely treat our beneficiaries.” On March 13, 2020, President Trump announced an emergency declaration under the Stafford Act and the National Emergencies Act. Consistent with President Trump’s emergency declaration, CMS is expanding Medicare’s telehealth benefits under the 1135 waiver authority and the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. This guidance and other recent actions by CMS provide regulatory flexibility to ensure that all Americans—particularly high-risk individuals—are aware of easy-to-use, accessible benefits that can help keep them healthy while helping to contain the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)." This expansion of these CMS rules (which all private insurance carriers follow) should immediately, and retroactively, be applied to the therapy sector during the time the government recommends as many as possible work from home and for which telehealth has been applied as a therapy modality. This should absolutely include therapists across the country to provide continued therapy services for our most vulnerable populations that cannot risk receiving therapy in person. Additionally, employers cannot risk the safety and well-being of their staff during this serious COVID-19 outbreak. Please see the following reasons for why we believe we should be reimbursed for services rendered via telehealth and that all insurance carriers should allow their beneficiaries therapy benefits to apply to telehealth during this global pandemic: #1 As therapists we are required by our state licensing by-laws to never under any circumstances perform patient abandonment. Yet the government and insurance companies are implementing and enforcing strict rules and guidelines so that we are unable to provide much needed healthcare to our patients. Therapy is an essential and medically necessary need for many patients. #2 Abandoning children and other patients without the ability to continue our plan of care will cause potential harm, a regression of skills required for activities of daily living and basic skills such as speaking, safely eating/drinking, walking, and being independent in self-help skills. This would directly impact the significant progress that they have worked so hard to achieve with direct guidance and support from their therapist. These patients would require additional care and will have to start their therapy plans completely over when this pandemic ends so that they can regain skills within functional limits for activities of daily living. #3 Telehealth and telerehab are proven and accepted therapy modalities that are occuring in real time through various platforms. Telehealth is provided via one on one therapy with our patients. This is within our scope of practice and ability of care. Our governing bodies for therapy, ASHA, AOTA, APTA, TOTA, TPTA, and TSHA have all encouraged therapy providers to utilize teletherapy during this difficult time for our country, where social distancing is our only option to stay safe. #4 We see children with diagnoses whose health will be severely and directly impacted by this limitation as many of them are immunocompromised. These patients are more susceptible to COVID-19 at a greater risk than the general population. ** Feeding therapy patients suffer from silent aspiration on foods and liquids which can lead to pneumonia. Without regular parent training and therapy regarding proper positioning and techniques, these children are at an immediate greater risk of infection, which then increases the risk of complications from COVID-19. ** Patients with speech and/or language deficits will no longer have a trained therapist on their side assisting them in improving their overall communication skills and quality of life. Their families may have difficulty understanding their basic wants and needs due to the lack of continued therapy. ** Children with muscular spasticity due to cerebral palsy and/or other genetic anomalies need to participate in individualized therapeutic stretching/exercise protocols that are monitored and updated by skilled licensed therapists on a regular basis. Through telehealth, therapists are able to teach parents how to perform these specialized stretches in the home environment while interacting with a skilled licensed therapist to guide them through proper techniques to avoid any harm to the patients. ** Patients that struggle with emotional dysregulation who have made great progress with therapy at our clinic. If we can’t continue our plan of care with their families via telehealth, our patients would experience a regression of coping skills and would revert to negative behaviors impacting their daily lives and mental health. ** Many patients suffer from muscle weakness and poor coordination. With the help of continued guidance and support from skilled licensed therapists through the telehealth option, we can provide continuous activities that will improve their skills on a weekly basis rather than allowing for regression of skills to occur. ** Babies with torticollis (or a head tilt often accompanied by flattening of the head and facial asymmetry) would experience significant deficits in every area of life. Their vision, facial, head, and neck symmetry, gross and fine motor skills would all be negatively impacted by lack of therapy and parent education. These deficits which are easily treated with physical and occupational therapy, would linger later into their lives which is medically negligent. We have the ability to use telehealth to guide and treat these patients in a timely manner to avoid any long term damage. #5 As therapy practitioners we agree to do no harm. The limitation in various insurance plans/carriers to not allow telehealth, even during this global crisis, is directly causing immediate harm to our patients and should be considered medically negligent. Not allowing therapy via telehealth during this global crisis would negatively impact thousands of patients, hundreds of small businesses, our communities, and the nation as a whole as this virus continues to spread. Our only safe option for service delivery is via telehealth for one of our most vulnerable populations. This is an urgent need for all insurers to include the therapy sector in the newly released CMS guideline expansion/waiver and allow telehealth as a therapeutic modality regardless of the insurance plan. Thank you

Open Door Pediatric Therapy & Preferred Recovery Billing
20,810 supporters
Petitioning UNICOR, FPI, White House, Earl Blumenauer, Ron Wyden, Lew Frederick, Kate Brown, Lamar Alexander, Alabama State House, Andrew M. Cuomo, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Louie Gohmert, Joaquín Castro, Michael...

FREEDOM MATTERS, RELEASE ALL FROM JAIL FOR CANNABIS RELATED CHARGES UNDER 8 OUNCES

We have had many successes recently in progressing cannabis laws - which are to be celebrated. However, we can’t celebrate the progress without acknowledging the travesties that are still happening daily.  There are literally millions of Afro American men and women sitting in jails and prison cells because of the failed war on drugs. While our representatives in Congress focus on banking, interstate commerce, and states’ rights, human beings are being incarcerated and enslaved by corporate prisons for possession of a plant, the majority of which are Afro Americans.  For instance, Corvain Cooper is currently serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for non-violent marijuana-related charges.   According to the ACLU, marijuana arrests now account for over half of all drug arrests in the United States. Of the 8.2 million marijuana arrests between 2001 and 2010, 88% were for simply possessing marijuana.  Nationwide, the arrest data revealed one consistent trend: significant racial bias. Despite roughly equal usage rates, Black people are 3.73 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana. Over half of those arrests were of black males between 2001 and 2010. Let that number sink in for a minute.  We need to create a plan that releases these people from prisons and jails throughout the United States. It is imperative that every state that passes tax and regulation laws also includes the release of those serving time for non-violent cannabis convictions. We need to focus on getting those incarcerated for non-violent cannabis charges released so they can start their lives again with their loved ones.  Corporate prisons in the US profit an average of $39,000 per incarcerated person per year. In New York, they profit $60,000 per person. It’s unjust and needs to end.  It’s time to start righting the wrongs of cannabis prohibition and the prison industrial complex. Every time a state considers “legalizing” cannabis, the first consideration needs to be for the men and women who have been locked up and removed from society for the same plant they are planning on collecting billions of dollars in taxes on.  Please sign the petition to let your voice be heard - no legalization without every non-violent cannabis prisoner’s release. If you want to continue the support for this effort further please contact the National Cannabis Diversity Awareness Convention by email (NDACPDX@GMAIL.COM)  

Mss Oregon
20,406 supporters