By: SARAH GIOMI ’18
I never thought at 19-years-old, I would have a blood clot in my foot. However, I also never thought my doctor would tell me I couldn’t get an MRI or an ultrasound to prevent the life-threatening injury because of insurance policies. There should never be a question about receiving a procedure in a life-threatening circumstance.
My Achilles started hurting 9 weeks prior, without a direct reason why. It started as a slight pain and increased until I couldn’t walk anymore. My doctor believed my foot was forming a blood clot because of the medicine I had been taking, and my body wasn’t fighting it off. When found, A blood clot can be resolved with blood thinners, but it was unclear if insurance would approve the ultrasound to find the coagulum.
Medical insurance companies are making the process of receiving the proper procedures more difficult by requiring physical therapy or cortisone injections before MRI procedures.This would be okay if I had torn my Achilles tendon, but if I had a blood clot, these steps could kill me. This could also damage other individuals who are unsure of the direct source of their pain. An MRI is designed to find the problem, not fix it.
I was finally able to get the procedures approved after a full week. I waited to hear from my provider but eventually had to call insurance myself because of how long and difficult the approval practice was being. A college student should not have to worry about this but with a blood clot, one week could be too late.
I received the approval for procedures but then had to question if I could even afford the tests. I am a college student, paying medical bills is the last thing I want to worry about.
According to Bernard Health: MRI procedures cost medical insurance companies $2,611. This may be large price but with the amount of people paying for insurance the cost should not be an issue. When it comes to a blood clot or life threatening injury, not one individual should have to wait.
If I had waited any longer and I did have a blood clot, I could have lost my life at 19-years-old. Not many think of a teenager when they think of blood clots, but it is possible and it is dangerous. Regardless of the age, every individual should be able to get a procedure when needed because lives both young and elder are more important than the cost it takes a hospital to run an exam.