Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Secret Video Surveillance by Insurance Companies

I would like to start out by saying people who scam systems that are set in place to help others really stink. I know these people exist, and I know they are the reason companies running services to help others are suspicious of everyone.

HOWEVER, I am not one of those people. After the first time the long term disability company secretly video taped me walking my dogs, came into my home, and barraged me with questions for 3 hours, I thought I had established that fact. They sent me paperwork, after all, saying I was indeed not scamming the system.

After that experience, (3 years ago now) thanks to all the medication I was on, I became paranoid that I was being watched at all times and wound up a recluse for about a year. I was depressed from being sick anyway, and with the added anxiety of that situation, and heavy doses of medications--I didn't have a chance at handling the situation well at all.

So you can imagine my stress level today when they called again asking for another "meeting" to "discuss" my claim.

I have leukemia, and I'm under doctors supervision for a vascular malformation.

My doctor and I fill out the forms the disability company asks for every 6 months. In the last paperwork we filled out, my doctor (rightly so) said she felt I was improving. I am. My vascular malformation is being watched with MRI's instead of actively forcing me into hospitalizations once every month.

The leukemia is chronic, however, and while I am tolerating the medication as well as can be expected... I am on a daily chemotherapy pill... and I will be for the rest of my life... unless researchers discover a cure. This comes with its own set of side effects-memory loss and retention issues, extreme fatigue, weight gain, edema, nausea, vision problems, muscle cramps, bone pain, (and entirely too many others to mention)---take your pick of the laundry list.... it's chemotherapy without an "end" date.

So there's that.

Then let's talk about the cost of that particular drug. $6,700.00 (i'll round down) per month. No, there's no stress there about making sure I'm covered for that... (sarcasm)

So here comes this company that gives me about $100 a month to help me get by (thanks to a policy I had at my last job) doing secret video surveillance on me yet again.

I asked the guy when he insisted on meeting in my home instead of a public place (because he didn't want me to feel uncomfortable discussing "personal information") if this was along the same lines as the last interrogation. I explained to him how the medications mixed with the anxiety that situation caused me put me into a deep depression where I didn't leave my house for a year... and if he was going to show me a video of me walking my dog as proof of why I no longer qualify for my policy... I would need to have an additional person with me because I emotionally can not handle going through that again.

He said it was indeed similar and he was shocked to hear I'd been through it before. He would check with his supervisor to see if this was a mistake.

How walking my dogs incriminates me, I'm not quite sure.... does leukemia mean a person isn't allowed to walk for 15 minutes a day when they're feeling able? to try and maintain some semblance of health outside of the disease?

I wonder if they read this blog... and if they think the hour I spend writing it demonstrates my ability to teach science to 6th graders 5 days a week for 8 hours a day.

My current question is should I have an attorney with me at this meeting? And---at what point does this become harassment?

You're probably thinking "Erin, it's a hundred dollars a month---just let it go so you don't have to deal with these jerks." My immediate reaction is to agree. Then the social justice aspect raises up in my stomach and says "If you roll over and play dead, they'll hurt other people who aren't as lucky to have support as you are."

So there's my current health care dilemma and stress.

I'm obviously not the only person this has happened to.... see below:






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