Atlanta

Insurance issue leaves metro Atlanta woman battling breast cancer without chemo for a month

ATLANTA — A metro Atlanta woman says her doctors stopped chemotherapy treatments for her aggressive form of breast cancer for a month because insurance was not paying.

“I have eight grandkids and three children, so I’m trying to live,” Ietta Bailey told Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray.

Bailey reached out to Channel 2 Action News after going a month without the chemo.

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“They told me when I first got the treatment not to stress, not to worry about anything, but here I am worrying and stressing,” Bailey said.

She was getting her treatment for triple negative stage 2b breast cancer at Piedmont Cancer Institute. It is not owned by or affiliated with Piedmont Hospital.

Bailey says Piedmont Cancer Institute stopped the weekly treatments after two months because they said Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield would not cover it.

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“I already had the I.V., and everything stuck out of my shirt when the doctor asked me about insurance, and he asked the nurse to come back in and remove it,” Bailey said.

Channel 2 Action News reached out to Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield who says there was a billing issue because Bailey had switched insurance plans at the beginning of the year. But the insurer says it will cover the treatment.

They released a statement that read:

“We reviewed the request from Ms. Bailey’s doctor for chemotherapy treatment and approved her services as medically necessary.  However, the course of treatment was not covered in the current plan Ms. Bailey switched to earlier this year. Due to the initial approval of services by our care team, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield will honor the approval and cover the costs of these services while also working with Ms. Bailey to make the best choices for her healthcare coverage going forward.”

We also reached out to Piedmont Cancer Institute. An attorney for the practice said they could not comment on specific patients because of privacy concerns.

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