Congressional Support

Thus far, I’ve been successful in getting my insurance company to cover what my doctors have prescribed and, thus far, my private disability insurance company is behaving itself.  Being an attorney does come in handy when it comes to fighting with various organizations — when someone tells me no, especially when I know the answer is supposed to be yes, all that does is make me want to fight and fight until I get the right answer.  However, I am well aware that that is not the answer for everyone and that oftentimes even the best advocate cannot obtain the result desired/needed.  So, I’ve looked outside of my own instinctive responses for those remedies available to everyone and enlisting one’s elected officials was a surprising one.

This remedy is surprisingly simple.  Every Senator’s staff includes individuals responsible for reaching out to the community.  Each community staffer has the option of focusing on something specific and access to benefits or resources in the community is a big one.  Step one (1) to obtaining support from your Senator is to reach out to your local Senator’s office and find out the name of the person responsible for assisting constituents with medical/insurance issues.

Step two (2) is to tell your story to that staffer.  While this information could be shared electronically, I would recommend meeting individually with that person.  I realize that this could be difficult for some, especially those of us metsters who have physical limitations.  However, there is nearly nothing more significant than looking people in the eye while you tell your story and talk about what is important to you. Consider asking the staffer to come to you if mobility is an issue.

Once you’ve told your story and explained the particular struggle you are having, then step three (3) would be to ask for a Congressional oversight letter.  This is a letter that any Senator is able to send to any agency that you are dealing with.  Examples: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Private Insurance Companies for health insurance, disability, etc.  The letter is a form, but it flags your situation, your file, your request as one that is being followed by a member of Congress.

Step four (4) is to sit back and watch the magic happen.  Am I exaggerating?  Well, I’ve personally observed this work multiple times and it definitely seemed like magic.  Putting pressure in the right way and by the right person can suddenly make all the pieces fall together.

I’ve heard of a few other remedies that bear mention:

  1. Writing a letter to the CEO or upper leadership/management of the company you are dealing with;
  2. Reaching out to your agent who sold you the policy so that he/she can help advocate for you internally (this worked very well for me);
  3. Connecting with various employees on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) and then talking/tweeting/writing about your experience/issue and tagging them.  Enlisting your friends to do the same.

Whatever the issue, for me, the bottom line is that sometimes we need help.  Sometimes we can’t solve an issue on our own.  Knowing the right method for getting results and decreasing stress in your life (as a patient) is powerful and helpful.  If all else fails, give me a ring, some days having the opportunity to yell at people for not doing their job is just what the doctor ordered. 😉

Author: Abigail Johnston

I'm a daughter, a wife, a mother, and I've been living with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer since March, 2017. All of the words I publish are my own.

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