Taylor Wilhite's Story
No one should have to choose between saving their life and their life savings.
Doctors diagnosed Taylor Wilhite with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a fast-growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow, in March 2007. She received three rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant; at one point she was taking 23 pills a day in addition to IV medications. The cancer treatment left multiple side effects: problems with her heart and hip, short-term memory problems, steroid-induced diabetes, and a compromised immune system.
Taylor, 11, has quickly approached the $1 million lifetime maximum benefit for her insurance coverage, which comes through her father’s job. Although Taylor is in remission, she will need follow-up visits with her oncologist every two months, check-ups with her endocrinologist every three months, and multiple major surgeries on her hip.
“The insurance has been good, we just never expected Taylor to reach the lifetime maximum on her benefits,” says Taylor’s mother, Amy. “It has been a lot of work to keep up with the medical expenses and figure out what to do next.”
Once she reaches her plan’s maximum, Taylor will become Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) eligible. HIPAA coverage will cost more than her current insurance and will present a financial burden to the family of six. Taylor’s parents have delayed having her hip reconstruction because of the costs.