Reader Jill Wagner responds to After a Twin Cities heroin overdose, mercy for the dealer, and rage at UnitedHealth:
Wow! Does this story resonate with me! My 20-year-old son is alive but the nightmare never ends. His addiction has become a cyclical problem.
Five to six years of depression with therapy and medication. He started using pot at age 15. Went to alternative school as he didn't feel he fit in with mainstream high school. He turned to Xanax along with pot, then heroin this year.
He's been in and out of treatment facilities four to five times in the last year, and is on probation for theft. The one smart thing I did was have him enroll in medical assistance so he would have coverage for treatment, healthcare, and medications. How sad is that?
My private HealthPartners insurance would deny stays at facilities, deny inpatient residential or would authorize only 7-14 days. In 2014, HealthPartners denied a two-week partial hospitalization for depression. He was 17 at the time.The bill came to $30,000. Seriously? I never paid and fought it tooth and nail.
These insurance companies deny the mental and chemical dependency treatment these kids need. So medical assistance covers everything. The state takes better care of people than insurance companies, to whom we pay huge premiums and deductibles. Maybe I'll get a lawsuit going against HealthPartners.
So good of you to fight for this. And I'm so sorry you lost Max.
We raise our beautiful children to see them become successful adults, and this addiction takes over. I feel helpless at times. I can't fix my son's problem. I want him to be happy. I can support him to an extent, but his addiction, his stealing just drains me emotionally and financially. It's so heartbreaking. I hope you can find peace.