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Florida couple in fight with insurance over chemotherapy finds much to be thankful for

A Florida couple struggled to pay for chemotherapy treatments.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — This year has been too much for most of us and many are eager to see 2020 in the rearview mirror, but perhaps none are as eager as Robert Ware and Deb Ware.

The couple retired and moved from Lake City to North Carolina, then he was diagnosed with cancer.

"Robert is up one day and down the next," said Deb Ware.

Robert Ware, 60, doesn't say much. His wife, a retired nurse, has been his champion since the diagnosis.

"This is the first time we have ever really needed them," she said.

"Them" is her health insurance plan. Their coverage is a Florida Blue HMO purchased through the marketplace.

The family said it covered doctor visits during the start of their life-changing experience, but now that he is prepared to begin chemotherapy getting approval has been difficult.

"I feel like we have been stalled and lied to so much," Deb Ware said. "It is hard for me to keep him positive."

After days of frustration, the Wares contacted On Your Side and we contacted their HMO Insurance Florida Blue.

Last week a spokesperson said they would review the case. This was the response:

"Florida Blue is committed to caring for our members and ensuring they receive necessary care as appropriate and possible. When that doesn’t happen, we appreciate having it called to our attention and will work with members to address their situation."

The company reviewed the case and said it is resolved.

"Thanks again for bringing our attention to the issues the Florida Blue member was having who had moved out of state. The issue has been resolved and you may want to follow up with them, as you know I can’t comment on specific members and their issues."

"Supposedly it has been approved I haven't seen anything in writing," Deb Ware said.

The couple said it is now waiting on the treating physician to be notified, but this experience has made this Thanksgiving even more meaningful.

"We have each other for this Thanksgiving," she said, "and plan to have each other for more Thanksgivings to come."

Perhaps a takeaway here is when it comes to health insurance, PPO or HMO or those high deductible plans, know what it covers when you move or when you are not in your local area. 

Most of the time that information is a phone call away.