Need surgery to save your life? Tips for getting insurance to pay

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Health care — and how much it costs — is scary. But you are not alone with these things, and knowledge is power. “Arm and Leg” is a podcast about these issues, and the second season is produced by KHN.

Laurie Todd calls herself the “Insurance Fighter.” She helps people get their health insurance companies to pay for treatment and has written books sharing her knowledge.

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She has a wealth of hard-earned knowledge. In 2005, Todd was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. Although she did find a doctor who could treat her, her health insurance said it wouldn’t be covered. But Todd did not accept that refusal and got her insurance company to pay for the life-saving surgery.

Over the next fifteen years, Todd honed her powers to eliminate insurance. She said she has fought for — and won — more than 200 insurance appeals on behalf of patients.

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Listen to the episode to hear some of her time-tested strategies.

This is the text of the episode.


“Arm and Leg” is a co-production between KHN and Public Road Productions.

To stay in touch with Arm and Leg, sign up for our newsletter. You can also follow the show on Facebook and Twitter. And if you have stories to tell about the healthcare system, the producers would love to hear from you.

To listen to all episodes of the KHN podcast, click here.

And subscribe to “An Arm and a Leg” on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

This article is reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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