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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/5/2013 (5 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Stage-4 cancer patient has her insurance canceled in order to make way for Obamacare

Edie Littlefield Sundby from California, is battling stage-4 gallbladder cancer. Sundby has since written an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal saying that Obamacare could end up killing her - as her affordable medical insurance is due to be canceled on New Year\'s Eve.

Edie Littlefield Sundby from California, is battling stage-4 gallbladder cancer. She is seen here with her husband Dale.

Edie Littlefield Sundby from California, is battling stage-4 gallbladder cancer. She is seen here with her husband Dale.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/5/2013 (5 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: UnitedHealthCare, cancer, California, Obamacare, cost


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "I am a determined fighter and extremely lucky. But this luck may have just run out," Sundby writes.

Facing a life-or-death dilemma, her policy ends on Dec. 31. Lundby gets coverage through the state government health exchange. She will lose access to her cancer doctors, or go broke paying up to 50 percent more outside the exchange.

Lundby's provider, UnitedHealthcare announced in May that it will not participate in California's insurance exchange, a spokesman for that state's Department of Insurance said.

A mere two percent of the state's individual market, UnitedHealthcare has only about 8,000 customers in California. This makes it tough to compete with Kaiser Permanente and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California, which share 87 percent of the market.

Spokeswoman for UnitedHealthcare Cheryl Randolph says the company is taking a "wait-and-see" attitude about the California insurance exchange.

"Because of UnitedHealthcare of California's historically small presence in the individual market and the fact that individual consumers in the state are well served with many competitive product offerings, we will focus on our employer group insurance and Medicare business in California for 2014," Randolph said.

The company's decision leaves customers like the 62-year-old Sundby in the lurch.

"For a cancer patient, medical coverage is a matter of life and death," Sundby wrote. "Take away people's ability to control their medical-coverage choices and they may die. I guess that's a highly effective way to control medical costs. Perhaps that's the point."

Lundby adds that UnitedHealthcare has paid $1.2 million to keep her alive since March 2007.

Her medical plan has "never once questioned any treatment or procedure recommended by my medical team" - made up of doctors at Stanford University, the University of California, San Diego; Moores Cancer Center in San Diego and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

"What happened to the President's promise, 'You can keep your health plan?' Or to the promise that 'You can keep your doctor?'" Sundby wrote. "Thanks to the law, I have been forced to give up a world-class health plan. The exchange would force me to give up a world-class physician."

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

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Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



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