Health care — and how much it costs — is scary. But you're not alone with this stuff, and knowledge is power. "An Arm and a Leg" is a podcast about these issues, and its second season is co-produced by KHN.
Matthew Lientz was an engineer for Boeing for over 30 years. When he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, he needed surgery from an expert doctor in another state. Although the surgery was his only option, his insurance denied the claim. That's when his wife, Diane, contacted Laurie Todd, who calls herself the “Insurance Warrior.”
Together, the three of them made the case for Lientz’s life. Fourteen years later, the speeches they gave in a conference room full of executives are a master class in winning insurance appeals — and living to tell the tale.
Through this battle, Todd learned that taking on your health insurance provider often means going up against your employer. That’s because most large companies "self-insure."
And in this case, that employer was one of the biggest businesses in the world.
For the origin story of the “Insurance Warrior,” check out our previous episode.
"An Arm and a Leg" is a co-production of KHN and Public Road Productions.
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This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.