En español | Lying on an examining table in a Colorado medical facility last month, cancer patient Ronald Flanagan, 60, was about to undergo a bone marrow biopsy on his hip when his wife, Frances, unexpectedly entered the procedure room and brought things to a halt.
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The reason? The Flanagans had underpaid their December health care insurance premium of $328.69 by 2 cents. The administrator of their medical claims, Ceridian Cobra Services, subsequently dropped their coverage, meaning that Flanagan's biopsy wouldn't be covered.
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"We were walking out of the facility and we were thinking, 'This may be the last time we'll be here, ever,' " recalls Flanagan, a former engineering technician with multiple myeloma. He needed the biopsy before receiving a donor stem cell transplant. "I was really mad at how heartless and matter-of-fact" Ceridian was.
Frances Flanagan, 55, learned of the lapsed coverage after phoning Ceridian from the medical facility. She says she caused the 2-cent error by inadvertently typing "67" cents instead of "69" while making an online payment.