Update on Lawsuit Against Oklahoma Insurance Company That Denied Coverage to Cancer PatientsPosted September 6, 2016
As we reported in June, the problem of insurers being out of date when it comes to the latest technologies to treat disease is an ongoing issue, but unfortunately, it can also sometimes make the difference between life and death for those who suffer from particular conditions.
In this particular incidence, it is a cancer treatment that many are commenting could save lives, but has resulted in (now) two patients coming forward to claim that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma are, stubbornly, still refusing to cover it.
Where Some Treatments Cause Harm
There have been many developments over the years in cancer treatments, one of the more common ones being radiation. However, unfortunately, some cancer patients’ bodies simply cannot withstand the amount of damage that radiation, as a cancer treatment, does. Take, for example, a three-year-old cancer patient who underwent radiation treatments that were simply too much for her body.
The Battle for Proton Therapy
In response, researchers have developed a treatment called proton therapy, which is supposedly better for children and others whose bodies are particularly fragile, such as elderly cancer patients. According to the National Association for Proton Therapy, where radiation may damage healthy tissues just as much as they damage the unhealthy tissues, with proton therapy, higher doses of radiation can be used to manage and control cancer while reducing damage to healthy tissues.
However, many are spending their time now battling their insurance companies to cover it (in addition to the battles they are experiencing with cancer itself). Specifically, two Oklahomans have had to file lawsuits because Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma refuse to pay for these treatments.
Insurance Companies Violating State Law
In fact, it’s become such an issue that the Oklahoma legislature passed a bill prohibiting health benefit plans from holding certain therapies to a higher standard of clinical evidence for benefit coverage decisions. In essence, if the patient’s doctor recommends treatment under proton therapy, the insurance company must cover it.
However, this hasn’t stopped the insurance companies from refusing to pay for it (even if it is mandated by state law), which constitutes acting in bad faith. As a result, these patients are arguably entitled to both damages and punitive damages.
Where to Get Help
An insurance company’s failure to provide coverage can have devastating repercussions on a policyholder’s health and emotional well-being.and may constitute bad faith. If you were denied coverage in bad faith, it is important to contact an experienced attorney who can help you.
The Bennett Law Firm can help. Contact one of our experienced bad faith insurance attorneys at 405-272-0303 to schedule a free consultation.