Blue Shield of California: Approve my lifesaving brain surgery
After three years of being undiagnosed, a year and half ago, my doctor told me that I have a rare brain tumor, and that without treatment I would live less than five years. But my insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, is standing between me and the life-saving surgery I need.
This isn't the first time it's happened -- I had surgery to remove the tumor causing my illness in 2012. My doctor recommended a surgeon within my network, so I was sent to someone with less expertise. My husband Mark and I were devastated when we learned months later that some of the tumor remained and was continuing to wreak havoc on my body.
So again, my doctor requested that my insurer pay for the surgery to be performed by an expert in my illness, called Cushing's disease -- he wants to make sure the job is done right this time. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield denied the request, saying they have other network providers with this same skill and expertise. But we have attempted to go to two of their providers now who are not as qualified. We have tried to work within the system. The system has failed us. We went to an out of network provider who is a specialist because Blue Shield could not provide one with the same technology and treatment plan.
Cushing's Disease has completely changed my life. I worked hard my entire life beginning at 17 years old, but I haven't been able to work for three years as a result of Cushing's. I manage a couple hours a week from home doing data entry. I can't make my husband Mark dinner anymore. I don't have the stamina to play with my nieces. I can't swim. My memory is shot.
I hate to say it, but time's running out for me and my family, and we can't afford another botch job just because Anthem thinks they may save a few dollars. Please help us ask Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, which owns Lakewood IPA, to approve my doctor's request for the care I need to get my life back.