My cousin Rachel, in her early 30s and mother to two, is fighting with insurance...to have her reconstruction surgery. No one at that age who has lost her mother and grandmother to breast cancer, has faced a stage 3 diagnosis, has endured a double mastectomy, chemo, radiation, and is now dealing with the side effects from those treatments, should have to fight and refile paperwork just to have her ports removed and breasts reconstructed. Friday she found out that the insurance was denying the procedure for the 2nd time in five months. The first time they said her "application" was never turned in; the second time they said the paperwork proving her radiation treatments were over was not submitted. My heart hurts for her. Incompetence on anyone's part is not something you need to contend with while you are recovering from a cancer ordeal.
Sometimes I wonder what would happen to our country if doctors refused to deal with insurance companies at all, and you paid a set fee for medical services, just like you would when visiting a grocery store or department store. My cousin who works on hospital equipment (he's a mechanic for MRI and other such machines) says the technology is so far advanced that no one would ever be able to pay for it. He's probably right, but I can't help but think there has to be a better way than what we are doing now.