Finally after what feels like eternity, insurance has approved Linden’s new wheelchair and it was delivered yesterday. With its flashy red wheels and tricked out functions, Linden is riding in style.
It took a bit to get to this point. We have private insurance and boy has it been a hassle to get it approved. I believe the entire process took 9 months. His first chair was starting to break, pieces falling off but most importantly he was way to big for it. His weight became to much for it and it tipped quite a bit. After 3 attempts for approval, 2 appeal processes and countless hours on the phone insurance gave us the green light.
Honestly I bring this up because I think we need to start really talking about the lack of consideration and safety private insurances are providing. We shouldn’t of had to send our child to school in a ratty chair only because money was more important to their CEO’s pockets. I recognize and advocate for all rights for children with disabilities including those on medicaid. I think we need to talk about private insurance coverage; or lack there of.
I found myself having to reach out to different foundations to help me fight with insurance. I had the medical equipment supplier company, Linden’s physical therapist, his neurologist, his PCP, Friends of Man, our family friend social worker and Any Baby Can. Count it! 7! It took seven others outside of Linden’s family to help in the fight. Ridiculous! If you count my husband and I, that makes 9 people, 9 INDIVIDUALS!
My hours of calls all began and ended the same. I remained calm and professional but gave examples of how his safety was being compromised daily. No matter how many scenarios I played out for insurance the answer was still no.
Finally the week of Thanksgiving, insurance approved the repeated requests. Seeing that we meet our out of pocket quite soon in the year due to Linden’s therapies and such; I prayed that his chair would arrive before the end of the year. It arrived with 2 days to spare, phew!
Linden absolutely adores his set of freedom wheels. He’s mastered the new chair in a matter minutes of its arrival. His first outing was to his swim lessons and without a hitch he was back to the hang of things. I look forward to his friends admiring his new chair when school starts again. His friends are so great with him and I love that they accept him as the same and see no different.
This wheelchair is one of the many battles we have had with insurance but I’ll save those stories for another day. For now, we rejoice in his new and safe chair.