Confirmed victory

Aetna: Stop Failing Patients in Pain

I’ve lived in pain since I was 17, when I first felt discomfort in my hip joints. It was such a relief when, last year, a doctor finally diagnosed me with FAI (Femoroacetabular Impingement), an arthritis-like hip condition that affects young people. Luckily, it is treatable by surgery.

My relief was short-lived. My health insurer Aetna has since twice refused to cover my surgery. Aetna claims this surgery is not “medically necessary.”

Not medically necessary? With this surgery, my life would hopefully be normal again. I might even be able to play with my four beautiful children without pain. However, left untreated, my condition is degenerative and will only get worse.

My husband is a hard-working war veteran, and our family is fortunate to be insured by his current employer—our fortune shouldn’t end there.

Aetna should cover this much-needed procedure. Other major insurers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare, CIGNA and United HealthCare, all cover surgery for people like me and explicitly acknowledge it is “medically necessary.” Similarly, by issuing billing codes, the American Medical Association supports medical efficacy of this procedure.

Big insurance companies, including Aetna, have a history of nickel-and-diming customers in chronic pain. It’s why the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons issued a position statement calling out insurers’ tendency to incorrectly label medically-accepted procedures as “experimental.” 

Not many of you will have heard of the condition of FAI. But we all together have to make sure insurance companies can’t get away with decisions that put the desire to save money ahead of the medical necessity of paying members.

Please join me in demanding Aetna follow the practice of other major insurers and end its unethical denial of coverage for FAI patients. Aetna is not only denying us coverage, it is denying us a pain-free life.

With my doctor’s support, I am on my second appeal to the company, and know your help -- especially if you are an Aetna customer -- will support my case and the case of other customers who are needlessly suffering in pain.

This petition was delivered to:
  • Cynthia B. Michener, Public Relations Manager
    Aetna (health insurance company)
  • Thomas F. Cowhey, Vice President, Investor Relations Aetna Inc
    Aetna (health insurance company)
  • Executive Complaints and Resolutions Department
    Aetna Executive Complaints and resolutions Department


    Ryan Carroll started this petition with a single signature, and won with 1,069 supporters. Start a petition to change something you care about.