Anthem BCBS Decides Boy Who Can’t Sit Up On His Own Doesn’t Need A Wheelchair

There’s a 2-year-old in New Jersey whose cerebral palsy makes it impossible for him to walk or even sit up without support. But according to the computers at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, he should give a cane a try before Anthem forks over the cash for a wheelchair.

The boy’s parents have had to carry him around the house and wherever they go, but when he grew heavier than 30 pounds, doctors prescribed a specialized wheelchair at the cost of around $5,000.

Thankfully this is what health insurance is meant to cover!

Oh… wait.

“I don’t think anybody could really comprehend why it was denied,” the boy’s mom tells Philadelphia’s KYW-TV.

Well, according to Anthem — a subsidiary of insurance titan and perennial Worst Company In America candidate WellPoint, a wheelchair is not medically necessary for the boy.

Because doctors apparently just love to write bogus wheelchair prescriptions for small children, Anthem said needed more proof that the boy couldn’t just get by with a cane or walker.

The parents’ attempts to talk sense into Anthem didn’t work, so they turned to KYW.

Amazingly, once the reporter called Anthem, it had a change of heart and approved the wheelchair.

However, the insurance company swears that it’s just a coincidence it overturned its initial decision the morning after being contacted by KYW.

Back in September, WellPoint announced it was “hiring” Watson, the IBM supercomputer that had competed on Jeopardy, to help it make better treatment decisions for policyholders.

Maybe the boy’s doctors should have worded the prescription in the form of a question.