Childhood Cancer

Your Child in the Hospital

Find a case manager

If your child has a long-term illness or an injury that requires many hospitalizations, call your insurance company and ask who will handle your claims. Explain the situation to your insurance representative and tell her it would be helpful to always deal with the same person. Insurers sometimes will assign a case manager to review claims, handle special needs, and answer any questions that you have about benefits. Try to develop a cooperative relationship with your case manager because he can make your life much easier. Your employer may also have a benefits specialist who can serve as a liaison with the insurer.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate benefits with the insurance company. Your case manager may be able to redefine a service that your child needs so it will be covered.

Our insurance company covered 100 percent of “maintenance drugs” only if the patient needed them for the rest of their lives. Katy’s drugs were only needed for two years but were extremely expensive. I asked my contact person for help, and she petitioned the decision-making board. They granted us an exemption and covered the entire cost of all her medication for two years.

The key to obtaining the maximum benefit from your insurance policy is to keep accurate records and appeal any denied claims, sometimes more than once. Some tips for good record-keeping follow:

• Keep accurate records of all medical expenses and claims submitted.

• Write down the date, name of person contacted, and content of all phone calls about insurance.

• Make photocopies of anything you send to your insurance company, including appeal letters.

• Pay bills by check or credit card, and keep all your canceled checks and/or credit card monthly summaries of charges.

• Keep all correspondence you receive from billing companies and insurance.