EndNotes

Did the insurance company kill Paul?

Oliver Platt and Laura Linney play a separated husband and wife  in the series “The Big C.”
Oliver Platt and Laura Linney play a separated husband and wife in the series “The Big C.”

Any The Big C fans out there? Paul, the wife of the main character (who has terminal cancer) dies of a heart attack in the Showtime season ender, which aired Monday.

As a death and dying issues blogger, I love the series for its interesting take on the dying process. Paul battled his wife's insurance company all season over a scan they wouldn't cover. That stress surely contributed to his death (he might come back if it turns out to be a near-death experience only.)

If you've ever done phone battle with insurance companies or doctors' offices over disputed bills, you know what I mean by this unique stress.

I've been "in dialogue" with a health care provider's parent company for several months now over a bill they have misprocessed, despite all the documentation I've sent in.

One night, after receiving the same wrong bill yet again, I left angry messages on two company voicemails. I felt bad about my tone the next day, but it made me appreciate Paul's anger over a much bigger issue. That kind of helpless anger could lead to a heart attack and death, I have no doubt, especially if (as in Paul's case) you have other medical issues.

How have you solved a medical bill's insanity without going insane?

(S-R archive photo of  Oliver Platt, who plays Paul, with his series wife, Cathy, played by Laura Linney)




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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.





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