Tuesday, February 17, 2015

On fighting with insurance after the death of your daughter.

I keep trying to take deep breaths, to cope with the near-constant anxiety in my life these days.

And then something like this just happens, and my blood is boiling:
My insurance company is denying claims from my hospital stay with Lydie.

You know how those bills are hard enough to swallow as it is?  When your daughter dies, they are much, much harder.

A month or two ago, I told myself to suck it up, pay them, forget about it.
I told myself that it stings, but money is not the real issue here.

And now, Aetna is refusing to reimburse me out of my flexible spending account for the hospital bills.  First they told me that I wasn't employed at that time (um, yes I was, I just was on leave).  Then they asked if I was on maternity leave (to which I responded, "Well, my baby died, so I think it was technically a medical leave.")  This week, they've confirmed my employment but are still refusing to reimburse me with my own damn money. 

It's these things that are so frustrating in everyday life.  I mean, had Lydie lived, I'd still be annoyed about it.  But with Lydie dead?  It is so much worse.

It's why I'm on the phone with the insurance agent in tears.  (And I actually felt all right this morning and made the now-obvious mistake of putting on mascara).
It's why I didn't hold back in telling her that my daughter died and the fact that they are making me call time after time and argue with them does not help my anguish.

I hope they make a note of that in their file, because I have to call them again tomorrow to follow up.


  1. I'm so sorry, Heather.

  2. I know. It's horrible. I remember this. They would literally show up in the mailbox and I would put them in the corner and let my husband deal. I couldn't. It was impossible.

    What's worse than the money (even though that's terrible because I felt like it should've been free, at the very least, to birth a dead baby) is reading the line item for each thing. It's hard to stomach. That's why I stopped getting the mail altogether, and the times I remember getting it within that year post-loss, I left a pile for the husband. To this day, they are all in a big Ziploc and out of my sight.

    And hey, Aetna here, too. Really delightful.

    1. I was thinking about that, Brandy. How the funeral home was so kind to cover all the costs of her cremation and memorial service for us. How it would be awesome if health insurance could do the same... Or you know, at least not make me call five times to argue with them about why this should be covered. Not so much helping my stress and anxiety these days.

  3. Holy SHIT. No no no no no no no. What in the actual fuck?

    I just...I'm sorry. I don't fucking understand how the insurance companies can't find it in their cold fucking "hearts" to just let the few of these go. It makes me absolutely nauseous to even think about. I hope your tears ruined someone's day there, because they should. To profit off of you, who lost SO MUCH...give me a fucking break. If you want me to write a hate letter, I will.

    Right here...I feel like we were so lucky. Jeff works for L.A. County, and their benefits are ridiculously good. I paid $0 for my maternity care with both Luke and Lena. It was one of the few things that I was grateful for in those months after we lost Luke.

    Fighting with insurance companies is bad enough. I did it so much when I had my own insurance at work. I can't even imagine having to do it with this sort of heartache. Fuck them. Fuck them so much. Tomorrow, tell them to fucking take care of this, because you don't have the heart or the presence of mind to give a crap.

  4. That is complete and total bullshit. I am so sorry. I hate them!

    (Any update on Ben's display and Lydie's part in it?)

  5. I am so sorry. I am still dealing with this after 10 months. We have private insurance so it was easy to switch and we did, in part for how they treated us. We are still fighting the thousands of dollars they billed us for my daughters 18 minutes of life. I really hope you can find an actual human with compassion who will take your interest in your case and get it resolved.

  6. Ugh. I'm so so sorry. I think we fall in to the very rare minority where this wasn't an issue since we are military (no bills), but it pains me knowing how awful these conversations are for most people - it's already such an ass pain to deal with insurance, but when your baby is dead - like you said it's just anguish. I'm sorry

  7. I really wish I could fight that battle for you. There is no reason you should have to argue with them. I am so sorry.

  8. Update: battle won! Glad to say this one particular stress has been eliminated. But still, fuck you Aetna.


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