MY 8-YEAR-OLD HAS A CHRONIC ILLNESS, AND FIGHTING WITH MY INSURANCE COMPANY HAS BECOME MY LIFE
“Our review has determined that the following service(s) are NOT medically appropriate based on the following principal reason(s): The request with submitted information for the pediatric wheelchair, has been denied as not medical necessary as the patient is not bed or chair confined.”
So goes the latest letter from my insurance company, intended to inform me that although my 8-year-old daughter is not confined to her bed, she is “not consistently a functional walker,” which is what her geneticist said when he wrote the prescription for the wheelchair in the first place. A wheelchair that now, with a price tag of $2,800, my daughter will not be getting, because some person sitting in their cubicle at the insurance office — someone who is not a doctor — decided to play doctor and alter her course of treatment.
I knew something was wrong with my daughter from almost the minute she was born. A full-term baby, she didn’t come into the world screaming, but rather she came quickly, and without sound. A shade of purple so deep, you would have thought she was suffocating, though surprisingly, she was breathing just fine. But then she was hospitalized at just 11 days old, spent some time in the ICU at 4 months old, and was plagued by a series of physical delays.