Little Hunter Alford needs chemotherapy to treat the rare and deadly cancer he was born with but has lost his health insurance under an administrative blunder seemingly caused by Obamacare.
While the president’s signature policy promised that no one with a pre-existing condition would not be covered, the Affordable Care Act has seemingly caused the seven-year-old Gainesville, Texas, boy to face an agonizing wait for treatment as his parents battle to get him back on his insurance plan.
‘Why would you cancel a kid?’ asked his mother Krista Alford. ‘I really want to send Obama and all of them pictures of my son. He has scars all over his head. He doesn’t want to leave the house because he’s afraid people are going to make fun of him because he’s bald.’
While mom Krista and dad Ron go out their minds with worry, Hunter – who was born with an extremely rare form of cancer called Plexiform Hishocyne Neoplasm – is battling the disease which has now spread to his brain.
But after seven years of fighting his illness, Hunter’s insurance has been canceled and he is due his next round of chemo, which costs $50,000 and right now, Krista says he is unlikely to get it.
The Alford’s are battling with children’s medicaid, or CHIP – which insures Hunter and despite the family receiving a new, renewed insurance card, they were informed that their agency had dropped them.
‘I called them and they said we were dropped October 31st,’ Krista said to News 12.
She was told that her sons information was lost when administrative changes were made under the Affordable Care Act.
‘The lady’s like, the only way we can expedite is if your son was pregnant and in labor, or if he was an illegal,’ Krista said.
The parents said Hunter ‘has known nothing other than hospitals, doctors, sickness and pain.’
Krista was incredulous when she received a letter in November from her insurance provider asking why her son – who has been covered by them his entire life – was in hospital in the first place.
Krista reasoned that after seven-years of paying for his medical bills, the insurance company would have a good idea of what was wrong with him.
Despite Krista’s insistence that the Affordable Care Act has caused her son to be un-insured, a media spokesperson with Texas Health and Human Services Communication – who handle CHIP – said that the problem does not lie with Obamacare.
However she did admit to administrative changes that could have led to mistakes moving Hunter from CHIP to an upgraded version of Medicaid.
She repeated that the problem was not related to Obamacare, but there were some ‘glitches’ in coverage when the changeover happened.
Ron Alford with his daughter Makayla and son Hunter – he is a police officer in Gainsville and struggling to get his children the health care they have been insured for their entire lives
However, it seems that one of those glitches caused a little boy with life-threatening cancer to lose his health insurance.
Over the past month Krista has been stuck in a bureaucratic hell – being passed from one agency telephone helpline to the next.
Each one has brought her no closer to an answer or a resolution.
Krista said she’d had Hunter’s current insurance for a year-and-a-half and had never received any notice that she needed to ‘requalify’ her children because of Obamacare.
When she phoned to complain Krista says, ‘all of a sudden could not find my son case, at all. And then, she transferred me over to another gentleman who found his case. He said it was hidden, because when they switched over to HHSC (Texas Health and Human Services Commission), they lost a lot of cases files and Hunter’s was just one of those.’
The more she asked, the more confusing the answers became.
‘Then they told me October 17th was when he was actually canceled. But on October 25 he had chemo, and they paid for it. So, I am getting different stories.’
The latest development in the shocking case is one that the wife of a small town police officer finds hard to believe.
‘Now, the new story with CHIP is they called and said my husband makes too much money, $173 too much.
‘So, I’m very upset. I was bawling on the phone with her and the only thing she said was, ‘Have a nice day,’ and she hung up.’
To make matters worse, the Alford’s have been told that their son’s cancer is not only rare but behaving in an unusual manner.
‘These tumors are very rare. They are not supposed to spread, but his decided they were going to spread. And it can go into his lungs, because the tumors like soft tissue, and your lungs are soft tissue.’
With Hunter desperately in need of a new round of Chemotherapy, Krista has said the family have no choice but to accept the massive $50,000 bill for it with no insurance.
However, they have set up a fund for people to help – ‘Heroes for Hunter’ and so far they have raised $11,005 – but everything will help.
Written by James Nyepublished on the Daily Mail. November 28, 2013.
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