Brandon Boyer Cancer Treatment Relief

$118,278 of $110k goal

Raised by 2,477 people in 30 months
Brandon Boyer   AUSTIN, TX
I've been primarily self-employed for the past ten years, which means I've spent the majority of that time without health insurance of any kind. For the most part, that's been fine! I've been lucky enough that in that time I'd never come down with anything worse than the occasional cold.

Even still, I was really proud of myself for doing the correct, adult thing and getting my own health insurance last year, and apparently in the nick of time: after a few confusing, stressful months -- which I laid out in much greater detail over here -- I was diagnosed with cancer & more or less immediately taken into surgery, where they removed a few feet of my small intestine & a section of my liver.



I didn't lie when I first saw the doctors -- why would you? -- and let them know that I'd had some incidences of stomachaches before, but none so serious that I'd been compelled to see a doctor about it until this past summer.

And all throughout this time, there were no signs that anything was financially amiss -- I was still asked to pay out-of-pocket for a few doctor visits, but was told that it was because health insurance companies can sometimes wait until the very end of the year to process larger claims (like major surgeries), so that it wouldn't immediately eat through your deductible.



It wasn't until early this year that I dug further and realized what was actually happening: Humana had decided at the end of the year to deny all of my claims and left me with a hundred-thousand dollars worth of bills. 

I immediately started working with the Patient Advocate Network through Livestrong and was assured this was probably a routine, almost clerical, error. Because I'd had no history of medical problems prior to this, the insurance company was obligated to check back through years of history and sniff around for (in my case, non-existant) clinical records to see if I'd gone in for anything related before.



It wasn't until a few weeks ago when the formal denial letter came through that the gravity of the situation really hit home: because I hadn't lied when I saw my first doctor -- because I'd told them that I'd had stomachaches at any point in the past five years, whether or not I'd gone to a doctor for it -- I'd fallen under a fine-print pre-existing condition clause that said that any signs of illness that could possibly have led a doctor to a diagnosis since 2008 were cause for denying any compensation for any ailment of pretty much my entire alimentary canal.

Patient Advocate took a look at the letter and were super candid: the chances for a successful appeal were basically zero.

When I tell people this, their first reaction is always: I don't get it, didn't this just get fixed with the new Health Insurance Marketplace? And it did, and it's maybe the single most important part of the initiative, but it only covers anything from January 2014 on, and I had the misfortune of being self-employed & sick in America in 2013.

It's always been extremely hard for me to ask for help from anyone, but outside coming under the patronage of an eccentric billionaire (still working on this, no luck so far), I don't have much recourse left to climb out from under this, and so I started this campaign to help tell my story and ask for some assistance.



The silver lining is that I'm still alive & I'm back on my feet & my health is stable for now -- I get regular monthly treatment meant to slow my decline, and my first post-surgery scan came back with essentially good news -- and also that the support I've had throughout all of this has been incredible.

That support may include friends & colleagues also coming together outside this campaign to help get me through this, and any additional assistance outside my immediate needs will be put into the cost of that on-going treatment -- as you might expect, from now on, it costs me many, many thousands of dollars more per year just to stay alive. 

And, you know, this is just the first time I've been dashed against the rocks on my way out to sea. There will come a time, hopefully not too soon, when things will get more serious again, and knowing I've got a bedrock of support is the most important thing in carrying through those tough times, so my thanks to everyone that has, will or can help in any way.
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 8.4K total shares
Goodtime Roland
29 months ago

So please, just be happy with everything everyone here gave to you and don't cost Humana money that will in the end just raise a premium for someone who can't afford it.

+ Read More
Jody Evenson Taylor
29 months ago

If you haven't already, Brandon, you should find a lawyer friend to write a scary letter to Humana on your behalf. I don't know if you remember, but I had multiple reconstructive surgeris on my hand from a car accident injury. The first surgery was to repair all of the blood vessels and tendons, the second was to move skin grafts and patches here and there to replace missing tissue and to close me up. United Healthcare arbitrarily decided that the second surgery was "cosmetic," and therefore elective. I had my surgeon write them multiple letters proving that this was completely ridiculous. They did nothing until I had a lawyer do some saber rattling, at which point the 20K was magically paid. In short, I agree with other commenters saying that they just do this hoping that people will give up. It's standard operating procedure, and you have to fight fire with fire. Good luck.

+ Read More
Tricia Staudinger
29 months ago

I would still appeal this, if you sought no treatment or recieved any prescriprions there is no proof of any stomachache at all. They want you to just give up, insurance company's often deny first and hope you don't appeal. Also most preexisting conditions are anything treated for 2 years prior to your coverage and would have been discovered when you applied for the insurance and you should have been informed said condition would not be covered prior to accepting to purchasing your insurance.

+ Read More
Felipe Stefano
29 months ago

Here in Brazil 70% of treatments are not covered, and all public hospitals are abandoned. All this is due to the high corruption of politicians, they use our money to construct football stadiums (each football stadium cost billions!!!). Don't come to Brazil World Cup 2014!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1_ILl8b7eE

+ Read More
Andreas Andersson
29 months ago

Now imagine all the people who get this situation, but are poor and have no connections. I've had cancer myself, but luckily, I live in Sweden, 90% of my treatment costs got covered. It absolutely blows my mind how the people of the US can accept the bloodsucking system they have. Someone survives cancer and then their life gets ruined anyway by moneygrabbing insurance companies. Best of luck to you.

+ Read More
Stalina Saleeby
29 months ago

I've tried for days to get help before my left leg is amputated and I'm just glad you got the help you needed I doubt that I will get the help I need it wouldawesome if you could share my page for me if you type in stalina saleeby on this site you will find my page. I am so glad you ate better Love stalina

+ Read More
Stalina Saleeby
29 months ago

Wishing you the best!

+ Read More
Ferro Iskanderani
29 months ago

wish you all the best

+ Read More
Pat Fig
29 months ago

All the best mate, The Humana insurance company sound like an absolute disgrace and I hope they regret their callous decision with the publicity this is creating. Who hasn't had a stomach ache in the past few years at some point? And who goes every to the doctor every time. Their terms are perverse.

+ Read More
Sandy O'Hare
29 months ago

It's so awful the way health insurance works in the states. In Australia there is an exclusion from any treatment for pre-existing ailments for the first 12 months of the policy, and then everything is covered. If you're not covered by health insurance, we have state-funded hospitals. The care may not be as timely but for serious ailments generally the care level is adequate. Asking for 5 years symptom-free is just unreasonable and to deny on such a tenuous reason is ridiculous! Show me a single person who HAS NEVER had an upset stomach for any reason?!

+ Read More
Eunice Ferguson
29 months ago

Nice to see you have so many wonderful friends. My grand daughter passed away on February 28, 2014. We did this go find thing but did not reach our goal for a traditional funeral, so she was cremated. But it is all in God's plan. I just wish we had as many friends as you have. Now, zi have a daughter who needs gastric bypass surgery. She had cerebral palsy and weighs 400 lbs. because of her receiving SSI due to her disability, her Medicaid will not pay for the surgery. She had two little girls and I am afraid she won't be around to see them grow if something is not done. Thanks for letting me vent. Good luck to you.

+ Read More
Guus Hoeve
29 months ago

Man looking at the way health "insurance" is covered in the states, I feel so lucky to live in Holland. But that aside, the battle stays the same. I'm joyed with the fact that now it isn't a matter of money anymore, so my best wishes on the road ahead as so many other will do to.

+ Read More
Artjöm Alexandsson
29 months ago

Was interesting dive into american system. You writings for me was like a real short story. Of course not genius, I mean... oh forget) I have donated through Humble Independance Bundle - thanks for this opportunity to Louis Fontaine! (whatever he is) - this is good for scrooges like me (let's say it weasel(: I'm from Russia so I did not quiet understand who you are, but - please, think about few things in your desease: 1. Imagine you are homeless whithout internet (and in Russia - you are in undegrounds and waste places, and nothing charity at all, only beaten up by police). No, I'm not suppose to drill your head whith that standard - I'm like, realy: may be you should do something you can, or in future make a big thing for someone. OR this may happened to you fot you to "look around", in spirit way (in any way you believe in something - Spirit or Humanity, anyway). I don't like you, because you are modern youth and, eventually, all humans are the same: "fed no one is hungry" and never "look around" (in spirit way). But may be you can. Don't USE World (Earth) etc. - LIVE in it, and WITH it.. Play the Games). Do not forget that God made stories (of course those are "live" with characters who real and who we must care about) Play Bestowers of Eternity. Feel "the Diffirence" between this not-a-game-exactly (but Story) and a good looking and finished Legacy but.. well.. Love=Art=Life=Dreams=Truth. And for that you don't need anything.. or something. there is nothing superfluous - like good voice actors, in whom those personnages - like an individuals - have no need. So, what is an ocean if not a multitude of drops... This is the game (o'key.. prototype!)). It's short!: https://mfi.re/download/7hq40x6jxo8grbw/Bestowers of Eternity - Part One.zip This is an essay that everyone must read. It's short!: http://public.callutheran.edu/~brint/Arts/Tolkien.pdf

+ Read More
Matt Berggren
29 months ago

First, I'm so sorry that you are going through this and on top of that have an unscrupulous insurance company like Humana deny coverage in your time of need on such an untenable basis. If you need further treatment covered, I would suggest you get another opinion on your appeal options and/or write to your state insurance commissioner about Humana's denial of coverage. Wishing you all the best in your recovery.

+ Read More
Robi Thompson-Dunn
29 months ago

Have you tried going to a teaching hospital? They usually will care for you at a reduced or 100% free fee. There is one in your area:University Medical Center Brackenridge

+ Read More
Jason Cirillo
30 months ago

Almost there, duder. Hope to see you healthy & bill-less at GDC.

+ Read More
David Stuart
30 months ago

Blows my mind how healthcare in the States is all about the Cash. Hope the small donations helps you out mate. Get well soon

+ Read More
AJ Hateley
30 months ago

Brandon you're a star, get well soon!

+ Read More
Ardila Hugo
30 months ago

Stay with US! :)

+ Read More
Louis Fontaine
30 months ago

If you also want to donate with Paypal, you can do so via the Humble store: http://www.humblebundle.com/devolver . Make sure you customize the split and click the charity arrow, so it goes to Brandon, though! (Also, you'll get stuff in return. I guess.)

+ Read More

$118,278 of $110k goal

Raised by 2,477 people in 30 months
Created March 2, 2014
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Jackson Williams
8 months ago (Monthly Donation)
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Jackson Williams
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10 months ago (Monthly Donation)
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11 months ago (Monthly Donation)
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12 months ago (Monthly Donation)
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13 months ago (Monthly Donation)
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14 months ago (Monthly Donation)
Goodtime Roland
29 months ago

So please, just be happy with everything everyone here gave to you and don't cost Humana money that will in the end just raise a premium for someone who can't afford it.

+ Read More
Jody Evenson Taylor
29 months ago

If you haven't already, Brandon, you should find a lawyer friend to write a scary letter to Humana on your behalf. I don't know if you remember, but I had multiple reconstructive surgeris on my hand from a car accident injury. The first surgery was to repair all of the blood vessels and tendons, the second was to move skin grafts and patches here and there to replace missing tissue and to close me up. United Healthcare arbitrarily decided that the second surgery was "cosmetic," and therefore elective. I had my surgeon write them multiple letters proving that this was completely ridiculous. They did nothing until I had a lawyer do some saber rattling, at which point the 20K was magically paid. In short, I agree with other commenters saying that they just do this hoping that people will give up. It's standard operating procedure, and you have to fight fire with fire. Good luck.

+ Read More
Tricia Staudinger
29 months ago

I would still appeal this, if you sought no treatment or recieved any prescriprions there is no proof of any stomachache at all. They want you to just give up, insurance company's often deny first and hope you don't appeal. Also most preexisting conditions are anything treated for 2 years prior to your coverage and would have been discovered when you applied for the insurance and you should have been informed said condition would not be covered prior to accepting to purchasing your insurance.

+ Read More
Felipe Stefano
29 months ago

Here in Brazil 70% of treatments are not covered, and all public hospitals are abandoned. All this is due to the high corruption of politicians, they use our money to construct football stadiums (each football stadium cost billions!!!). Don't come to Brazil World Cup 2014!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1_ILl8b7eE

+ Read More
Andreas Andersson
29 months ago

Now imagine all the people who get this situation, but are poor and have no connections. I've had cancer myself, but luckily, I live in Sweden, 90% of my treatment costs got covered. It absolutely blows my mind how the people of the US can accept the bloodsucking system they have. Someone survives cancer and then their life gets ruined anyway by moneygrabbing insurance companies. Best of luck to you.

+ Read More
Stalina Saleeby
29 months ago

I've tried for days to get help before my left leg is amputated and I'm just glad you got the help you needed I doubt that I will get the help I need it wouldawesome if you could share my page for me if you type in stalina saleeby on this site you will find my page. I am so glad you ate better Love stalina

+ Read More
Stalina Saleeby
29 months ago

Wishing you the best!

+ Read More
Ferro Iskanderani
29 months ago

wish you all the best

+ Read More
Pat Fig
29 months ago

All the best mate, The Humana insurance company sound like an absolute disgrace and I hope they regret their callous decision with the publicity this is creating. Who hasn't had a stomach ache in the past few years at some point? And who goes every to the doctor every time. Their terms are perverse.

+ Read More
Sandy O'Hare
29 months ago

It's so awful the way health insurance works in the states. In Australia there is an exclusion from any treatment for pre-existing ailments for the first 12 months of the policy, and then everything is covered. If you're not covered by health insurance, we have state-funded hospitals. The care may not be as timely but for serious ailments generally the care level is adequate. Asking for 5 years symptom-free is just unreasonable and to deny on such a tenuous reason is ridiculous! Show me a single person who HAS NEVER had an upset stomach for any reason?!

+ Read More
Eunice Ferguson
29 months ago

Nice to see you have so many wonderful friends. My grand daughter passed away on February 28, 2014. We did this go find thing but did not reach our goal for a traditional funeral, so she was cremated. But it is all in God's plan. I just wish we had as many friends as you have. Now, zi have a daughter who needs gastric bypass surgery. She had cerebral palsy and weighs 400 lbs. because of her receiving SSI due to her disability, her Medicaid will not pay for the surgery. She had two little girls and I am afraid she won't be around to see them grow if something is not done. Thanks for letting me vent. Good luck to you.

+ Read More
Guus Hoeve
29 months ago

Man looking at the way health "insurance" is covered in the states, I feel so lucky to live in Holland. But that aside, the battle stays the same. I'm joyed with the fact that now it isn't a matter of money anymore, so my best wishes on the road ahead as so many other will do to.

+ Read More
Artjöm Alexandsson
29 months ago

Was interesting dive into american system. You writings for me was like a real short story. Of course not genius, I mean... oh forget) I have donated through Humble Independance Bundle - thanks for this opportunity to Louis Fontaine! (whatever he is) - this is good for scrooges like me (let's say it weasel(: I'm from Russia so I did not quiet understand who you are, but - please, think about few things in your desease: 1. Imagine you are homeless whithout internet (and in Russia - you are in undegrounds and waste places, and nothing charity at all, only beaten up by police). No, I'm not suppose to drill your head whith that standard - I'm like, realy: may be you should do something you can, or in future make a big thing for someone. OR this may happened to you fot you to "look around", in spirit way (in any way you believe in something - Spirit or Humanity, anyway). I don't like you, because you are modern youth and, eventually, all humans are the same: "fed no one is hungry" and never "look around" (in spirit way). But may be you can. Don't USE World (Earth) etc. - LIVE in it, and WITH it.. Play the Games). Do not forget that God made stories (of course those are "live" with characters who real and who we must care about) Play Bestowers of Eternity. Feel "the Diffirence" between this not-a-game-exactly (but Story) and a good looking and finished Legacy but.. well.. Love=Art=Life=Dreams=Truth. And for that you don't need anything.. or something. there is nothing superfluous - like good voice actors, in whom those personnages - like an individuals - have no need. So, what is an ocean if not a multitude of drops... This is the game (o'key.. prototype!)). It's short!: https://mfi.re/download/7hq40x6jxo8grbw/Bestowers of Eternity - Part One.zip This is an essay that everyone must read. It's short!: http://public.callutheran.edu/~brint/Arts/Tolkien.pdf

+ Read More
Matt Berggren
29 months ago

First, I'm so sorry that you are going through this and on top of that have an unscrupulous insurance company like Humana deny coverage in your time of need on such an untenable basis. If you need further treatment covered, I would suggest you get another opinion on your appeal options and/or write to your state insurance commissioner about Humana's denial of coverage. Wishing you all the best in your recovery.

+ Read More
Robi Thompson-Dunn
29 months ago

Have you tried going to a teaching hospital? They usually will care for you at a reduced or 100% free fee. There is one in your area:University Medical Center Brackenridge

+ Read More
Jason Cirillo
30 months ago

Almost there, duder. Hope to see you healthy & bill-less at GDC.

+ Read More
David Stuart
30 months ago

Blows my mind how healthcare in the States is all about the Cash. Hope the small donations helps you out mate. Get well soon

+ Read More
AJ Hateley
30 months ago

Brandon you're a star, get well soon!

+ Read More
Ardila Hugo
30 months ago

Stay with US! :)

+ Read More
Louis Fontaine
30 months ago

If you also want to donate with Paypal, you can do so via the Humble store: http://www.humblebundle.com/devolver . Make sure you customize the split and click the charity arrow, so it goes to Brandon, though! (Also, you'll get stuff in return. I guess.)

+ Read More
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