Imagine that one of your children, while innocently walking through the park, steps on a homemade explosive and is critically injured. It’s a horrific thought for any parent, and yet it is exactly what happened to one New York teenager.
19-year old Connor Golden was walking through Central Park on July 3, 2016, when he stepped on the explosive. He had to have his left leg amputated below the knee after the explosion severely mutilated his left foot.
The college student went through three surgeries and a bout with a serious infection before being able to walk again. But, the battle to walk wasn’t going to be easy; the insurance company was fighting every step he tried to take to get a prosthetic leg.
The Goldens found themselves in a huge fight with their health insurer, United Healthcare, one of this country’s biggest medical insurers, to get their son a prosthetic leg. All of this while Connor was trying to get his life back together and resume college classes.
You will love the reasoning that United Healthcare gave for the three month delay in approving the prosthesis. A spokesman for the company says the delays occurred because there was confusion about whether the leg should be covered as an “in-network” benefit or an “out-of-network” benefit.
That pretty much says it all about how insurance companies work. Connor finally got approval for his new leg and was able to resume his college classes. However, this isn’t the end of the fight for the Golden family.
The company recently has turned down a claim for a specially designed wheelchair for Connor. The company says the wheelchair “is not medically necessary because Connor is not a full time wheelchair user”.
An attorney for the Goldens says this is not a one-time case; he sees this happen over and over again. Amputees’ claims are denied because, he says, the amputee community is not deemed large enough to fight the insurance companies.
Well, the Goldens are fighting for their son – and we hope they win. And maybe, United Healthcare will receive lumps of coal in their Christmas stockings.
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