But the decision was too late to save her life...why don't insurance companies listen to the physicians...sometimes in healthcare we don't have the luxury of an administrative decision when someone's life is at stake..and this took a protest of nurses and other teenagers to reverse...will be glad when articles such as this no longer exist and are no longer newsworthy...BD  image

GLENDALE, Calif. - A 17-year old died just hours after her health insurance company reversed its decision not to pay for a liver transplant that doctors said the girl needed. Nataline had been battling leukemia and received a bone marrow transplant from her brother. She developed a complication, however, that caused her liver to fail.

Nataline Sarkisyan died Thursday night at about 6 p.m. at University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center. She had been in a vegetative state for weeks, said her mother, Hilda.

Doctors at UCLA determined she needed a transplant and sent a letter to CIGNA Healthcare on Dec. 11. The Philadelphia-based health insurance company denied payment for the transplant. On Thursday, about 150 teenagers and nurses protested outside CIGNA's office in Glendale. As the protesters rallied, the company reversed its decision and said it would approve the transplant.

Teen dies after transplant funds nixed - Yahoo! News


  1. Deny Deny DEny has always been Cigna's policy. I used to work as a nerwork person for this company. I listened to many employees complain that needed care had to be denied even thought the person having to do the "dirty" work knew it was medically needed. Cigna should be sued, and the higher up prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law

  2. Unfortunately, there will never be a time, as B.D. suggested, “when articles such as this no longer exist and are no longer newsworthy” – not when profits are of more value than people! We all said we cared about our neighbor after September 11th, 2001, but how much did those in a position to make a real difference at Cigna truly care about this young girl and her family before she died? Without a strong CA Department of Insurance actually regulating the Insurance Industry with some significant teeth, we’ll continue to see this utter indecency day after day after day!

  3. I believe this person had coverage through a group plan. This plan was covered under ERISA. Under ERISA jurisdiction the Plan Fudiciary can be sued, which might just be the employer who issued the plan. If it ever gets to the courts and if it is won the amount payable is the amount that the insurance should have paid for of the initial procedure. NOTHING MORE. So as long as people dont know what ERISA is or what it can do this will continue to happen. If people really want to make a change then learn what ERISA is and learn that it can protect people like this if it is understood and used correctly.


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