News: Breast cancer patient denied disability pay

As if fighting breast cancer wasn’t enough, 26-year old Katie Evans now faces a financial battle after finding out she

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As if fighting breast cancer wasn’t enough, 26-year old Katie Evans now faces a financial battle after finding out she doesn’t qualify for long-term disability payments, despite having insurance.

An administrator for several Shoppers Drug Mart stores in Ottawa, Evans’ long-term disability (LTD) policy through Blue Cross Medavie became effective last December. However, the previous September she had asked her doctor about a lump in her breast. After testing, a surgeon told her it was nothing to worry about. Six months after those initial tests’and three months after her coverage kicked in’further tests determined Evans to have breast cancer. She had to undergo a mastectomy and chemotherapy.

The initial testing Evans underwent in September is now considered by her employer’s insurance company to be evidence of a "pre-existing condition," and grounds for her to be denied disability payments.

According to the denial letter Evans received from Blue Cross Medavie, any treatment, including just filling a prescription, within six months before coverage starts can be considered evidence of a "pre-existing condition."

Evans told CBC News she’s concerned that others may postpone going to the doctor or delay treatment until their insurance coverage is in place.

Do you think insurance clauses such as this may prevent people from seeking treatment?

*** Update: Evans told CBC News she recently received a call from Blue Cross Medavie to say it had reversed its decision and she will now be fully covered for long-term disability.

Related:
Breast cancer: What you should know, and how you can help
The five deadliest cancers for women
Canada’s best medical care for women

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