When her insurance coverage firm denied her protection to deal with a abdomen situation that causes frequent vomiting, Sandy Honig determined to attraction the choice in a extra unconventional method.
The comic — who is understood for co-creating the present “Three Busy Debras” on HBO Max — uploaded a video, which has since gone viral, that reveals her vomiting outdoors the insurance coverage firm’s constructing. A number of instances.
“Properly, nobody will take my letter, however they mentioned I might mail it and depart it with any related documentation,” Honig says within the video, earlier than opening the envelope and throwing up into it.
Her “attraction” could not have labored, however the viral stunt has sparked a dialogue on-line over the lengths that many People should undergo to obtain reasonably priced medical care.
Honig, 30, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
However on-line she has been vocal about her situation, gastroparesis, which impacts her abdomen muscle tissues and prevents her abdomen from emptying correctly.
It causes her to vomit up virtually every little thing she eats, she mentioned in a tweet, and he or she presently manages it by snacking “slowly on small quantities of straightforward meals all through the day.”
One therapy that has labored for her, she mentioned in her YouTube video, is receiving Botox injections to her pyloric sphincter, the muscle tissues that controls the motion of partially digested meals from the abdomen to the small gut.
She mentioned her insurance coverage supplier, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Defend, deemed the process medically pointless. For the reason that aid from Botox solely lasts for just a few months, Honig mentioned that she had been paying out of pocket to proceed receiving therapy.
Her video, which she filmed in January and posted on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube on Monday, opens together with her writing a letter interesting a call from Anthem. She then makes an attempt to hand-deliver it to the corporate’s workplace constructing in in Woodland Hills, California. After she is denied entry as a result of she didn’t have an worker badge, Honig spins on her heels, exits the constructing and promptly vomits outdoors its doorways.
She continues to vomit within the parking zone a number of instances within the video, horrifying passersby.
Honig alleges that Anthem despatched law enforcement officials to her house after she filmed the video in entrance of the corporate’s constructing.
She additionally confirmed a snippet of the Jan. 19 police report, which mentioned the Los Angeles Police Division “performed a wellness test.” The report additionally included the phrase “poss 5150,” the California regulation code for an involuntarily psychiatric maintain. She additionally tweeted a selfie with an officer within the background.
A consultant for Anthem didn’t touch upon Honig’s declare that the corporate despatched cops to her house after the incident was filmed.
Nevertheless, the consultant mentioned, the corporate’s protection polices are “primarily based on evidence-based drugs using medical society place statements, main peer-reviewed medical journals and enter from doctor specialists throughout the nation.”
“We need to guarantee Ms. Honig will get the precise therapy for her specific situation,” the consultant mentioned in an e mail. “Our medical workforce has fastidiously reviewed her case and our medical insurance policies, and the present medical proof doesn’t help the therapy she is requesting for her situation. Subsequently, it isn’t a lined profit below the household’s well being plan.”
The consultant added that Anthem’s attraction course of affords “further evaluate” that gives “additional alternatives for brand spanking new or further info and circumstances to be thought-about below the household’s well being plan.”
Hours after posting the video, Honig tweeted that somebody from Anthem referred to as her and mentioned “they really feel terrible” and that the corporate is “wanting into it.” In another tweet, she mentioned that the consultant referred to as again and defined why Anthem doesn’t take into account Botox medically mandatory.
“i assume now could be the time to confess it IS beauty, I simply turned 30 and need the within of my abdomen to look youthful,” she joked.
Following the video’s launch, many on-line rallied by Honig, sharing their very own experiences making an attempt to attraction to their well being care suppliers.
“My brother had an identical uncommon abdomen illness referred to as SMAS the place he could not maintain meals down,” one Twitter consumer replied. “He was 19 when the one factor our insurance coverage would cowl was a surgical procedure for a feeding tube although there is a bypass surgical procedure that will permit him to reside a traditional life.”
Within the subsequent tweet, the consumer mentioned that their brother acquired the surgical procedure in an “emergency capability,” however his insurance coverage nonetheless hasn’t paid for it.
“So sorry you are going by way of one thing comparable. It was a very arduous and scary time for my household however this was three years in the past and now my brother is completely high-quality and residing a traditional life due to that surgical procedure,” the consumer wrote. “The American healthcare system is past a nightmare.”
Actor and author Jesse Nowack quote tweeted Honig’s video, and mentioned that Anthem denied protection for a medical process when he was urinating blood.
One other Twitter consumer said that their sister needed to get a pacemaker in her stomach to deal with her gastroparesis, and it was “an extended wrestle” to obtain that therapy.
Oklahoma Progress Now, a progressive advocacy group that builds coalitions and creates progressive content material, additionally tweeted a response.
“The actual powerful factor to swallow right here is that so many individuals nonetheless assume of us are over-utilizing the healthcare system (for very actual problems and diseases) vs grasping insurance coverage firms, drug firms and personal medical establishments merely rationing take care of extra earnings,” the nonprofit wrote.
Some commenters discovered the video entertaining, even when demoralizing.
“I am so sorry they denied the attraction,” Twitter consumer coffeespoonie said. “That is absurd however as somebody with continual emesis this fulfilled one thing deep inside me.”
“I even have gastroparesis and my previous insurance coverage firm refused to cowl any motility meds,” one other consumer wrote. “I’ll maintain this technique in thoughts.”