Tran's daughter, An Tran, who has a doctorate in business administration and teaches marketing at the
She might as well not have bothered.
The elder Tran had been staying at An's home in
Seven Corners gave written preapproval for the procedures recommended by Dr.
The company's policy excluded coverage for any "preexisting condition," by which it meant any condition "whether or
not previously manifested, symptomatic, known, diagnosed, treated or disclosed," the letter said.
An Tran and her father were on the hook for nearly
As for the bill, "My dad obviously can't pay it," Tran said. His
The surgical procedures
Medicare generally would pay about a quarter of the
The policy An Tran purchased had no deductible and offered coverage of up to
Moncrief said the fact that Tran did not seek treatment immediately may be the reason his surgeries weren't covered. (Seven Corners refused all comment on the case.) She acknowledged it was hardly surprising he hadn't dashed to the doctor at the first sign of discomfort: "I don't know that I would have done that, either, if I just had blurry vision."
As for Seven Corners' refusal to pay despite precertification, this is not uncommon, she said. By precertifying, the insurer verifies that a procedure is a covered benefit but doesn't guarantee the insurer will cover it for that particular patient.
Travel insurance typically offers little protection for any health problem linked to a preexisting condition, regardless of whether that condition ever has been diagnosed, says
"For visitors to the
"It's usually better for a visitor to buy travel insurance from their country of origin, but in some countries (
Tran had tried unsuccessfully for months to fly home to his town near
The eye surgeon, Chen, offered to discuss the case with KHN, but his medical group's counsel said it had a policy against discussing insurance issues with reporters, even with the patient's consent.
After KHN approached him to discuss the issue, Chen told An Tran that he was waiving his