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refused care at cancer treatment of america because on cobra

okthen's picture
okthen
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2010

Just got off phone with Cancer Treatment Center of America...talked with them the night of DH's dx. They were very sympathetic, spent lots of time talking w me about financials, insurance, tx options etc. DH laid off, cobra ends 10/20/10...no benefits w my job...they knew it all. Basically told me they were the best of the best and they were his best hope for cure/recovery (to be expected, I knew I was being "sold to", but we were considering them as an option if needed)

DH staged as "very early"...but Dr #1 recommends abdominal surgery removing 2/3 's of rectum. Appointment Wed w Dr. #2 for 2nd opinion. If same recommendation thought we would go to CTCA or some other Cancer center in hopes for a better option.

ANYWAY...CTCA calls today and says they can't take us, we have to have 8 months of cobra and we only have 4 and 3 weeks. The first thing that came to mind was how the rep on the phone the 1st night went on and on about the centers "Mother standards"...how they treat every patient as if it were their own mother...UNLESS (he forgot to add) they can't charge you for at least 8 months of Treatment. I wouldn't agree..but I would get it if we only had a month of insurance left. It just seems so cold and uncaring...not sure why I keep thinking things are different....I always seem shocked when something like this happens, I should know better by now.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

CCTA panders to people, who are in their most vulnerable state - the newly diagnosed.

Their commercials pretty much tell you what they are all about - their sappy sermons try to elicit the feelings that if you go with them, all will be right.

The one that struck me the hardest was a guy who had pancreatic cancer - and he was saved. Well, only 1% of pancreatic cancer patients actually make it, and I doubt it was that guy. If Patrick Swayze did not make it, I'm sure this guy would not either. It's infuriating how misleading they are - and how they take advantage of people's emotions.

Yes, they are a sales organization and "for profit" services are the key to keeping their doors open.

I talked with them a couple of years ago and was given the usual song and dance routine. When I asked if they accepted a team approach and would work with my doctors here, they flatly refused and said, "since we are putting up your lodging and travel expenses, we do not consult outside of our establishment.

At that point, I politely hung up and put these people in my rear view mirror.

A regular cancer center or an NCI facility, or a good teaching hospital will still be able to adminster the same types of chemo and you will fare just as well looking into those.

Sorry about your bad experience with them - they talk a good game, but when the rubber hits the road, they are 100% all about the Benjamins.

I encourage you to see what your area has to offer - if you can tell us what state you live in, many members here can give you recommendations on the hospitals they have used, with terrific success.

Thanks for your story - you may have saved someone else from having to put up with you just had to.

Welcome to the forum here and hope we can help you as you begin your journey.

-Craig

okthen's picture
okthen
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanks Craig, we are in Kansas...close to Wichita, Kansas City, Topeka...all within reasonable driving distance....

Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Kathryn_in_MN
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

You said it all.

sheri22
Posts: 278
Joined: Jan 2009

SORRY this has happened to you my DR and I just had a coversation about some of these places he calls them sharks and warned me to stay away from some places ALWAYS check with your onc befor going anywhere like this as long as you trust your onc that is I am lucky I trust my onc. also could you apply for disability here in Ohio stage IV definantly qualifies you for disability, just be careful of who you go too. I cant stress this enough
good luck to you and keep us posted DONT GIVE UP

Sheri22

RickMurtagh's picture
RickMurtagh
Posts: 584
Joined: Feb 2010

I am unemployed and also on Cobra, but hopefully I am near the end (of the expensive part) of my cancer journey and have a bit more time for Cobra than you.
I hope you find some treatment facility that you are comfortable with and that they have better Mother standards than CTCA.

Anonymous user (not verified)

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okthen's picture
okthen
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanks Sheri and Rick....I sure wish an extention of the time we could stay on COBRA would have been part of the stimulus...approve it for everyone for 36mo instead of just the few who meet the requirements.....Ive looked and looked and don't see any options...won't qualify for disability, income just over the mark for medicaid...I thought individual ins was going to be high before this diagnosis...now I can't even imagine what they'll be...if he will even be covered..not sure I understand the rules on pre-existing conditions.
I hate that on top of everything else that is going through our minds, my DH hears me on the phone or sees me searching the internet trying to make sure he's covered. I keep hearing from people that "you have to be treated"...I think what they are not understanding is- that's not the case if your issue is not an emergency.

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi,

Just wondering what state you live in. I live in California and am currently on "Cal Cobra". After my 18 months of federal COBRA expired, I was eligible for an additional 18 months of it under the state of California "CalCOBRA" guidelines. I believe everyone in California is eligible for this. I had naively thought it was this way in every state. It's more expensive than what I paid for the first 18 months of COBRA and I am no longer eligible to pay for and continue the vision, dental, and life insurance plans that I got through my employer. This is just the main medical and I pay it directly to the insurance company instead of to my employer, as I did for the first 18 months.

Hope you find a loophole and can somehow still qualify for it longer. When mine finally does expire, we will use the insurance through my husband's employer, which I am thankful to have. The reason we chose to continue paying the COBRA as long as possible is because it's actually about the same, possibly slightly more expensive to have my family insured through my husband's work & the coverage will not be as good as what I can get now.

Best wishes to you!

Lisa

okthen's picture
okthen
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Lisa...we are are in Kansas, dont believe that extension is available to us. Have been all over the state websites re insurance and have never seen a thing regarding it. I have plans to call our insurance commission and see if there is any suggestions. Probably after my DH's 2nd opinion appt. I can't say thank you enough for you all that take the time to post, it really really helps to be able to "talk". (o:

damama24
Posts: 175
Joined: Nov 2009

I also live in Kansas and am currently receiving treatment at the KU Cancer Center. I'm pleased with everything so far. They are even covering my monthly cobra payment as when I lost my job I could no longer afford it. You might contact them and see if they have any programs or resources for people in your situation. I hope you are able to find some options. Blessings to you.
Deb

okthen's picture
okthen
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2010

Thank you Deb! I will remember that...hopefully we will have this taken care of by October...all depends on surgery or TEM... and biopsy results (Doc #1 states initial biopsy showed a non-invasive ca, but have to send growth after removal, see what that says, that will determine if chemo and radiation are needed) But good to know about KU, if they help you with premiums, maybe there is other help for when ours runs out. Wishing you the best!

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6209
Joined: Feb 2009

So very sorry that you have had such a terrible experience with them. Their ads seem like that is the place you would want to go, but like others have said you need to be careful. Sorry to hear about your Cobra too. I've never been on it so can't give you any info. If radiation and/or chemo needs to be given hopefully you can get most of it accomplished before your insurance ends. Hoping that all goes well with the doctors.

Kim

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

What stage is he?

okthen's picture
okthen
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2010

All the Doc said was "very early" He did the sonogram and showed us where it "might" be dipping into the wall, and said the nodes were clean but that the sono machine is 50/50 on the nodes,,,we were so happy to hear early that I never asked why he really wasn't sounding definate...maybe just the way he talks. The Doc #2 will have the sono results when he sees us Wed. We are prepared to aask more ?'s this time. Was thankful I taped the visit because we were remembering a good bit of what he said wrong, relistening helped a ton.

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