My name is John. My mom, Karen Oberg, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer about 9 months ago. While this has been a really hard time for us, I've been fortunate to be able to take leave from my job and spend these last months with her. Things were going well until recently when scans revealed the cancer was still very prevalent. From what doctors told us, she may only have one or two months to live. I need your help because our insurance company is bullying us around right in the middle of my mom's second-line chemotherapy.
Her insurance company, Total Health Care, is not living up to its promise -- or name. Out of the blue, Total Health Care decided they would no longer allow my mom to continue going to the University of Michigan to receive treatment. The insurance company has been covering us for the University of Michigan for seven months now, so why are they all of a sudden refusing to continue her coverage when she only has months to live?
On Monday, January 20, no more than 12 hours before she was scheduled to receive chemotherapy treatment, we got a call from U of M notifying us that Total Health Care refused to continue covering my mom's treatment there. We were heartbroken upon hearing this, and we were confused about why Total Health Care didn't have the heart to call us directly. After hours upon hours of pleading with Total Health Care over the phone, they wouldn't budge. This is especially frustrating because we're waiting to hear about the status of an operation which can help alleviate some of my mom's pain. The care and compassion we felt from U of M means nothing to them, and my mom is being looked at as nothing more than a dollar sign and a statistic to this insurance company.
After a poor experience with a misdiagnosis from my mom's previous hospital and after establishing incredible relationships with doctors at U of M, we have built a true bridge of trust. It's the only place my mom feels comfortable, and as she recently told me, "Hearing bad news at U of M is easier than taking good news from the other hospitals we've been to." Even with a three hour round trip, we know the University of Michigan has so much care and compassion, which we feel from all of the U of M staff and doctors, particularly her oncologist. Their warmth is unmatched throughout the health care system.
I ask and thank you for supporting us in our effort to convince Total Health Care to allow us to continue receiving treatment at University of Michigan. After being through so much together, my mom and I want these last few months together to be as joyful as possible. Quality health care from doctors we know and trust is all we ask for.
She is currently not receiving chemotherapy because of her discontinued service. Continuing treatment at University at Michigan is how that can happen and we are so thankful for you support on my petition!