Today, Robert C. Hilliard of Hilliard Munoz Gonzales LLP (HMG) obtained an Order from a Newton County judge granting a restraining order against Aetna Insurance, preventing the insurance company from denying life-saving cancer treatment for his client, Bobby Allen Bean.
Mr. Bean, a 1973 graduate of Newton County High School who has lived in Newton with his wife for over forty years, is suffering from advanced prostate cancer and is currently being treated at Houston's MD Anderson. Based upon Mr. Bean's medical history, his doctors have recommended that he receive Proton Radiation Therapy; the only other options to treat the cancer are too risky for Mr. Bean because he also suffers from insulin-dependent Type 2 diabetes. Despite his doctor's recommendations, his medical insurance carrier, Aetna, has refused to cover the treatment, claiming that it is "experimental."
Mr. Hilliard contends that the Judge ruled correctly, "Aetna wants to play God and decided that my client's life is not worth the expense. It is ridiculous that some person behind a desk at Aetna, without a medical degree or experience in fighting cancer, let alone experience in treating Bobby personally, is allowed to second guess the sound judgment of renowned doctors at the single best cancer center in the world and their patient who is battling an aggressive and deadly form of cancer."
"What's more," says Hilliard, is that "MD Anderson has been using Proton Radiation Therapy for nearly ten years. This is not some unknown experimental treatment. It works. And my client should be given the opportunity to have the treatment to save his life."
"Aetna gladly accepted Bobby's premiums for all of these years. Promised him, though his policy, that they would be there when he needed them. Now, when its their turn to fork over some cash to pay for this treatment, they do the math and make excuses. Bobby was born and raised in south east Texas—he's a true Texas cowboy and a good man. Aetna needs to 'cowboy up' and do the right thing"
The website for the National Association for Proton Therapy notes that "Proton beam therapy is neither experimental nor investigational. It is an established form of treatment that is widely accepted by physicians, government agencies and many insurers, including Medicare and Medicaid (which do not cover investigational or experimental treatments)."
"It's time that we take a stand against medical insurance companies who ask: how can we save a dollar, instead of how can we save a life."