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Thursday
Jan272011

Vietnam Veteran Loses Insurance Over Two Cents

Photo Courtesy - KMGH-TV(THORNTON, Colo.) -- What can make the difference between receiving a potentially lifesaving surgery or not?  For Vietnam veteran Ronald Flanagan, Ceridian Cobra Services determined it's two cents.

Flanagan has multiple myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow, which he has been fighting since September 2008.  He now needs a third stem cell transplant surgery but had lost his health coverage over a two-cent error.

Ceridian Cobra Services, an insurance benefits administrator, dropped Ron Flanagan after his wife, Frances Flanagan, said she mistakenly substituted a seven for a nine when she paid their monthly health insurance premium of $328.69 online.

"If I only had just hit the 9 instead of the 7," Frances Flanagan told ABC News' Denver affiliate, KMGH-TV.  "Everybody we talk to is very surprised that 2 cents is enough to do this."

What two cents was able to undo, ABC News was able to help redo.  When ABC News called Ceridian to comment on the story the company delivered unexpected news.

"We've reviewed the situation thoroughly," said Bart Valdez, Chief Commercial Officer for Ceridian.  "And we're pleased to say...Mr. Flannigan's insurance coverage was reinstated."

When asked whether he would offer Flannigan an apology, Valdez said, "For what specifically? ... We followed the normal procedures that were in complete compliance with the law and with regulations."

Doctors at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver, where Ron Flanagan was undergoing treatment, had a stem cell donor at the ready and had told Flanagan they needed to complete the transplant before the end of February, but that was before he lost his insurance.  As of today, Flanagan is trying to get back on the transplant list.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio