Thursday, December 6, 2018

Insurance complications around my upcoming second opinion consult at MD Anderson Cancer Center

I was very excited after seeing the "I have you scheduled to see Dr. Shiao-Pei Weathers on 12/14 .... Will this appointment work for you?" email mentioned in my previous post

Adding a big dose of wishful thinking, I assumed that the appointment was confirmed with everything being taken care of, and all that was left for me to do was to just show up on 12/14 in Houston. 

Reality hit when the Patient Access Representative called me the next day to inform me that my insurance does not have Out-of-network coverage, and the only way MD Anderson could see me was as a self-pay patient. And I would have to pay out-of-pocket $1,050 for consultation. Or $17,509 for the full evaluation. 😦

After some hand-wringing, avoided the temptation to call the whole thing off, and confirmed verbally and through email that we want to go with just the consultation, and we will come ready to pay $ 1,050 at the appointment. Phew. 

This was my first serious attempt at seeking treatment outside Longmont/Colorado, and I gain a valuable lesson about my health insurance coverage details. 

Since it is currently open-enrollment season for Obamacare Exchange insurance policies, I checked with my insurance agent if I could switch to another policy for 2019 that could allow me to seek out-of-network treatment in the near-future. 

My insurance agent was very quick in throwing cold water at my hopes with "Unfortunately, there are no out of network plans available in the individual market." 😷

As things stand now, I am all set to get a second opinion on treatment options from a physician specializing in treating Glioblastoma at MD Anderson Cancer Center next Friday. 

The following Wednesday - December 20, 2018 - I will be meeting my NeuroOncologist in Longmont. Quite likely I will have to schedule my third craniotomy in the following couple of weeks at this meeting.

A craniotomy to end 2018 and start 2019 WITH A BANG!  🤣

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