Remember this awkward-looking ankle brace that I came home with a few months ago?
Like my cool purple cast and my Storm Trooper boot, it was provided to me by the doctors and nurses at Harborview’s Foot and Ankle Clinic. Apparently it would stabilize my ankle as I weaned off the Storm Trooper boot. Did I stop my health care team as they handed the brace to me, indicating its necessity, and ask to call my insurance company to make sure it was covered?
No, I did not.
As the nurse at Harborview Medical Center explained to me how to lace up my new brace, did I excuse myself to investigate whether the brace would be considered an “over-the-counter item or service,” which Regence healthcare plan expressly does not cover?
No, I did not.
See, I assume that when I’m in the hospital, being cared for by the medical team that has seen me through my entire ordeal, from the surgery to the rehabilitation, I don’t need to worry about my insurance company dictating what my doctors and nurses can and can’t provide for me as they aid in my recovery.
Hell, Regence covered my knee walker, my crutches, my Storm Trooper boot… and even the silly shampoo cap in the hospital, so why did they decide not to cover this brace?
I have NO FRIKKIN’ CLUE!
I appealed their decision, giving all these arguments for why I believe that my brace (which, by the way, I wore maybe twice) should have been covered. Today I received a letter from Regence stating that the original claim processing will stand because the brace is considered an over-the-counter item -- even though it was provided to me by medical doctors and nurses -- and (get this!) “no calls were received prior to services being rendered to verify benefits.”
Really? I’m supposed to interrupt my doctors at every turn, every time they provide me with an item or service to aid in my recovery, to go call Regence and verify coverage? I should have called my insurance company when the cast was removed and I was given the boot? I should have called Regence when I needed crutches to walk?
I will appeal this decision too, and escalate my appeal to a corporate review board, because this is ridiculous!
Poopy on you, Regence! Just poopy on you. Today I think you SUCK.