Friday, April 15, 2011

i can relate to this...

...and so can, I would wager, anyone who has been harassed by  condescended to infantilized by dealt with an insurance company on health related matters.

Especially if you have been on long-term disability for any length of time, you can expect regular correspondence. Blogger Katherine describes this experience:

"But as sure as the swallows return to Capistrano, every March CIGNA sends me information on its Cancer Support program. Last year’s began “Good health is a gift.” This year’s reads like a grade school report:


The American Cancer Society estimates that two men and one in three women will face cancer in their lifetime. Although these are scary statistics, CIGNA HealthCare wants you to know we’re here to help…"

Most of us just sigh, groan, maybe yell a little and then toss the letters into the recycling bin (unless it is one of the letters making demands to send information we have alread sent them SEVERAL TIMES. Then we scream a little louder, call the company, get transferred to voice mail, leave a message and then never hear back, send the info as requested and then get ANOTHER LETTER requesting the SAME INFORMATION and scream some more. Or maybe that's just me.). After years of this kind of correspondence, Katherine decided to write back (CIGNA is her insurance company):

"Dear DOUG:

Thank you for your letter of March 2010! I couldn’t agree more that good health is a gift! I was blown away that you want to help me make the most of it.

It was gratifying to know that “as health care claims are submitted to us, we review them and identify steps you might take to help improve your health.” Gosh. I feel a little guilty. I mean, you are poring over my health claims and I am doing bupkis for you. Maybe I could clean out the coffee room fridge in Bloomfield some time? Police the parking lot? Just let me know.

As you might have gleaned from your research, I have metastatic breast cancer. My doctor says that in 2010, there’s no cure for metastatic breast cancer. Of course that’s what she said in 2009. So I do intend to doublecheck in 2011. I will keep you posted...

...I think it is important to take care of me, too. I see Dr. Gaynor once a month. It might be hard to see her more regularly than that. Unless she wants to join my mahjong group. I will make inquiries."

You can read the rest of the letter and Katherine's post about it on her blog, ihatebreastcancer. Thanks to Anna Rachnel (ccchronicles) of The Cancer Culture Chronicles for telling us about Katherine's letter via Twitter.


Lene Andersen said...

the ihatebreastcancer link towards the end doesn't work....

fantastic letter. Had me snorting toast crumbs all over my keyboard.

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for reading! And thanks for the link!
Rock on,


Ana Marie said...

i am sorry that you are dealing with that frustration but i have to say.. that letter made me piddle my pants a little bit! too funny! - new reader!

laurie said...

Thanks! I fixed the broken link. Thanks for commenting Katherine. Your letter made us snort, piddle and wipe away tears.
Lene and Ana Marie - thanks for your comments. I love hearing from you both.

Anonymous said...

what's the best way to order your book for a US address? Via you? Somplace online?

Conquering Cancer By Living Well said...

That was a hilarious letter and made my day! Thank you for posting that!

laurie said...

Katherine- I think via me is the easiest and cheapest for a US address.

breast reduction surgery said...

It is good to hear about your journey.It tales immense strength of mind to fight the cancer in you.But I am sure you will come out as a winner.