Healthcare Access

Cancer is expensive. On my insurance portal today: “Total billed by providers Jan 01, 2021 to current: $241,036.34” No typo there. Two hundred forty-one thousand, thirty-six dollars and thirty-four cents. Six months. Cancer is expensive. Much of this is my targeted therapy drug. Without it little ROS1 would once again speed throughout my body. Most of this cost is paid by my insurance. This is not so for many.

I am one of the fortunate ones. I have health insurance. I know how to read claims, bills, etc. I know how to file an appeal. I am learning how to best advocate for myself in this domain. I am well enough to do so.

When we made the decision for me to stop working, it was so I could focus on my health full time. (Many keep working to try to keep up with expenses, keep their insurance.) I thought it was to keep my mind and body as fit as could be. And it is. But lately it is also spending way too much time dealing with healthcare billing, insurance benefits and claims, …

At Dana-Farber most of that is handled seamlessly (for me) between them and the insurance company. But that’s not the case with all providers.

Early in 2020 I was hospitalized. Even though it was our local hospital (or because it was), I saw a different hospitalist for each of the days I was there. Unbeknown to me, the hospitalist on my final day was new – his first day – so new that it totally messed up my insurance claim. After months and two appeals, bills from an unknown company, and a threatening letter from a collections agency, I sent a check to this unknown company representing this hospitalist. Right before the appeal was approved and a check was issued by the insurance company. So I called the billing company for the unknown company ,who evidently hires the hospitalist, to get my $ back. You can imagine how it went. After a long hold, I was told my check was received, but none other. I should wait a couple weeks and it should be processed by then. Nobody else to talk to. I got specific info from my insurance company, and still, nope, sorry, nobody in billing could help. It’s a call center, silly. There is no billing department to speak with.

Today I tried AGAIN! Nope, sorry, just your zero balance. So I called Northern Light (“local”) billing. Nope, no big credit waiting there. So, I’ve had good luck “chatting” with a live person at my insurance company. I got a nice, helpful person who could see that the check was issued, but not cashed. She tried to call the billing call center (I gave her the phone number) to get a correct address to reissue the check and of course there was high call volume. She’s going to work on it…

Everyone deserves access to the same level of health care.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Rochelle, Rochelle

Just another weblog

Mixed Media Morsels & more

Tips, Ideas, and Inspiration

Frantic Shanti

Mindfulness, cancer and the stuff in the space between your ears.

polepole ~ breathe

Living with metastatic lung cancer; a story of life, my life, now

Pat Schulz Paper Art

Where the creative mind meets paper

Boo Diagnosis, Great Life

NSCLC Stage IV Squamous Journey (Lung Cancer)

Faith, Family & Friends

Living with stage IV lung cancer - By Lysa Buonanno

The Frugal Crafter Blog

Groovy craft projects, crafty recipes and other artsy stuff.


The Official Blog of Lung Cancer Social Media

Forest Wolf Programs

Build your relationship to Nature with Forest Wolf as your guide.

Roads End Naturalist

Educating myself and others about the natural world as I wander and ponder at road's end.


Keeping you abreast of Gwen's lungs one post at a time.


Life with advanced lung cancer: tips, tricks, insights, and inspirations

Naturally Curious with Mary Holland

An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide -


Just another site

Gray Connections

Perspectives on Lung Cancer, Research Advocacy, and Other Stuff

life and breath: outliving lung cancer

for the terminally optimistic

%d bloggers like this: