Appealing denials is a time-sensitive process for cancer patients

Unexpected injuries and health problems can occur to anyone at any time, so having health insurance coverage is extremely important. But what happens when an insurance company knows better than a patient’s doctor? According to an oncologist and University of Washington professor, people die. Appealing denials can help some patients get the treatment they desperately need, but navigating through insurance law can be trickier than some may realize.

This problem is especially prolific among cancer patients. Fighting cancer is expensive, especially since the cost of drugs used during treatment shot up fivefold between 2006 and 2015. Despite the higher cost, outcomes for cancer patients have not improved much at all.

Coverage denials are one of the reasons that cancer patients are suffering and even dying. According to the UW professor, patients go without life-saving treatments because their insurance companies refused to pay. That same professor pointed out that most people working at insurance companies do not understand the cancers that she treats, which means unqualified people are making life or death health care decisions. Trying to convince insurance companies that they should pay for certain treatments is time-consuming, and many patients die while still waiting for an answer.

Most Washington residents believe that purchasing health insurance means that all of their medical needs will be covered. The unfortunate reality is that most insurance companies do not care about policy holders. Instead, they are focused on their own bottom lines, and paying for costly medical treatments can jeopardize profit. Appealing denials can be very helpful for individuals who are in this situation, but when there might not be much time left, it is a good idea to seek help with the process.