Insurance company United Healthcare (UHC) is in hot water for reportedly planning to drop benefits for Brett Walls, a man suffering from Locked in Syndrome, a debilitating, devastating neurological disease. The Cincinnati, Ohio, man’s family is doing everything possible to avoid the carrier from literally throwing their loved one out on the streets.
On February 27, Walls, 51, a successful restaurateur and healthy man, collapsed at home, crying out to his wife Gayle that something was horribly wrong. It was not an exaggeration. He was near death after suffering two brain aneurisms and three strokes, which left him unable to move, except for his eyes.
The family used United Healthcare as their insurance provider, and as many in similar situations, hoped that they would take care of the severely ill man in their hour of need. However, the road has been anything but smooth for this heartbroken family, who are now in the midst of a catastrophic ruling.
It’s not the first time Gayle Walls has received a communication from United Healthcare that shows the cold-hearted side of the healthcare business. On a Facebook page Gayle created to bring attention to her family’s situation, she chronicles Brett’s progress and her fight to get him the coverage that he needs to recover.
In August United Healthcare sent her a notification stating they would extend her husband’s benefits, as a one-time show of goodwill, and extended his benefits for a limited time. At the time, a frustrated Gayle decided to create the Facebook page and talk to anyone who would listen in an effort to have the carrier continue the benefits Brett so desperately needs.
“With our denials for intensive rehab, UHC assured us that Brett would get approval for said benefit. However, when the time came, UHC care decided to deny and determined that Brett’s needs were custodial/maintenance only (i.e. I keep him comfortable until an infection takes him). Pressure from family, friends and local media changed their tune. Now UHC is looking to shorten Brett’s rehab. In spite of his astounding progress. They are covering their bases, acting as if they are doing us a favor, weaving their web, gearing up to send him home ASAP. How do the powers that be at UHC sleep at night? There IS a higher power.”
Locked in Syndrome is one of the most horrific brain diseases a human being can endure. Basically, it leaves a person paralyzed and voiceless, but with relatively intact cognitive functions, according to Brain Foundation. In other words, the victim is completely aware of their surroundings.
Initially, doctors had no hope for Brett Walls and his family, but on March 9, the brave man decided to fight to live after receiving the grim prognosis. However, the family has had to fight United Healthcare all the way. The insurance company is following Brett’s prognosis to the T, and refuse to consider the miraculous progress made by Brett since he suffered the strokes.
It’s true that 90 percent of patients die within four months, and those who survive generally do not improve whether therapy is involved or not. The family argues that Brett has made remarkable progress, and is showing signs of improvement every day. They believe he should be allowed to continue at the facility that is providing his therapy, but United Healthcare is refusing to continue coverage.
Gayle Walls once again took to her Facebook page to plead with anyone who can stop United Healthcare from ending her husband’s coverage. On October 25, she shared the latest communication sent by United Healthcare.
“Yesterday, on day 45, at the end of the biz day, on the cusp of the weekend, once again UHC drops the bomb. Brett needs to be discharged early because he is not meeting their “criteria” (an undefined criteria, determined by UHC). Brett is fighting so so very hard every day, amazing the doctors and therapists with his determination and progress. 60 days of rehab are not enough for this profound diagnosis, but we were so thankful to finally get a health benefit that Brett deserved all along. The clincher is, UHC can decide at any time that Brett doesn’t meet their criteria.”
While devastated and heartbroken, Gayle Walls is not giving up, and is asking all her friends and family to bring attention to what United Healthcare is doing in her husband’s case. The family also has a fundraising page at GoFundMe. The Inquisitr has reached out to the insurer for comment, but has not received a reply.
[Image via Facebook]