Archives for posts with tag: MRI

Money2I was diagnosed with breast cancer in early October 2013 and had 11 business days to prepare for double mastectomy. Virtually every other day I was heading somewhere for a test or to fill out paperwork. Not only did I have to take care of so much administrative stuff before surgery, I also had to get my house ready, and I had to make preparations at my job. Needless to say, this was extremely difficult because of the tight time constraints coupled with a diagnosis that scared the begeezus out of me.

One of the many tests my surgeon scheduled for me in the 11 days prior to surgery was a PET scan and an MRI. Perhaps now is a good time to say I am fully insured having a PPO with a major provider via my employer. After surgery on Oct 29 I had to go back for second surgery 3 weeks later for more lymph node removal. Then chemo began Friday the 13th ( I kid you not) of December. 4 months of chemo followed by 33 radiation treatments and I am now trying to return to normal.

About a month after my initial surgery, I received notice from my insurer that my claim for the MRI/PET was being rejected and I should expect to receive a bill from the facility that performed those two diagnostic tests. My insurer let me know I was responsible for payment in full. Shortly after that I got a bill for roughly $8500.00.

So began a frightening journey into insurance hell. I am a smart person but I know virtually nothing about how to fight an insurance company. I felt like a blind person in a cave swinging at lumps of coal. My repeated attempts to resolve were futile. I shared my frustrations with our HR rep at work and he reminded me that our benefits plan included the service of Health Advocate. So I reached out that day and it was one of the best decisions in my life.

First, lucky for me that our HR rep was informed because I certainly was not. Second, I am just so grateful for such a service and happy to know it is another one of my employer-provided benefits.

Working with the Health Advocate rep was simple, timely and straightforward. Communication was always on time and easily understood. I would not have known all the required steps nor the timing of those steps in order to wage a good fight regarding this $8500.00 charge. But my HA rep knew and finally managed to win on our final appeal. I ended up paying $114.00 instead of $8500.00 and this appeal process took about 4+/- months. I would have failed without the assistance of Health Advocate.

I have since recommended the HA services to anyone who will listen. I encourage anyone facing health care issues to investigate HA and utilize them if necessary. I was trying to fight the rejected claim with emotional responses. The Health Advocate is schooled in responding with medical and processional reasoning which certainly has a greater chance for success.

Even fully insured, this cancer battle has been a huge expense that I never saw coming. It would have been so much worse, had I been responsible for that $8500.00 bill.

Thank you new-best-friend Health Advocate! I expect to stay in touch for many years to come.

That’s my story. I hope this is helpful.


Tomorrow morning my breasts will be removed.  As it turns out, some lymph nodes are going to go as well.   The cancer is not confined to my breast.

Today was  a very difficult day at work but right now I feel a sense of calm.  Late this afternoon, while getting injected with radioactive isotopes to make the lymph nodes light up for surgery, I talked to 2 different hospital employees who told me wonderful things about my surgeon.  And the tech who injected the lightning bugs into my breast and then performed the MRI just really put me at ease.  Thanks for that, Morris.  

Dinner, and off to bed ready for my 4:30 wake up call.  Then Hi HO, Hi Ho, off to surgery I go.

Wave bye bye to Rita and Lucy.  May they and their cancer cells leave and never return.Image


So I had PET and MRI on Tuesday and I am expecting the results today.  Waiting.  Anticipating a call from surgeon to tell me if cancer is isolated in left breast or if it is elsewhere.  Surgery scheduled for Tuesday.

Can’t say that I am looking forward to receiving the call today nor can I say I don’t want to know.  Not knowing is excruciating.  Knowing something – anything – allows me to make a plan that will allow me to kick cancer’s ass.

Have to go shopping for specific supplies from a list provided by my doc.  ALSo have to go get fitted for my compression garment to be worn post-surgery.  Some grocery shopping and a trial run to ensure my work laptop boots up and I can connect from my living room since I expect to be working from home for a few weeks.

Maybe I need to wear a rally cap.Image

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