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Matthew Lientz was an engineer for Boeing for over 30 years. When he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, he needed surgery from an expert doctor in another state. Although the surgery was his only option, his insurance denied the claim. That’s when his wife, Diane, contacted Laurie Todd, who calls herself the “Insurance Warrior.”
Together, the three of them made the case for Lientz’s life. Fourteen years later, the speeches they gave in a conference room full of executives are a master class in winning insurance appeals — and living to tell the tale.
Through this battle, Todd learned that taking on your health insurance provider often means going up against your employer. That’s because most large companies “self-insure.”
And in this case, that employer was one of the biggest businesses in the world.
For the origin story of the “Insurance Warrior,” check out our previous episode.
“An Arm and a Leg” is a co-production of KHN and Public Road Productions.
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This story was produced by KHN (Kaiser Health News), a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.