Cancer Patient Connects With Aetna CEO On Twitter – Who Agrees To Cover Previously Denied Treatment Costs

What do you do when you can’t seem to break through the noise? These days (if you’re social media savvy), you turn to Twitter.

The platform allows every day voices to be heard by millions with an immediacy viral power that makes (smart) businesses snap to.

Case in point? This cancer patient who was denied coverage after reaching a lifetime limit for charges – and who got this decision reversed on Twitter.

You can read the whole back and forth Storified here, but the gist of the matter is this:

Arijit is a self-described “31 year-old sustainability PhD student fighting Stage IV colon cancer. Dropped by health insurance coverage, I’m waging war on potential medical bankruptcy.” And he tweets from the handle @poop_strong (obviously still has a solid sense of humor).

When he reached his “lifetime limit” for covered care through his insurance provider Aetna, he was dropped. He created a site to raise funds and awareness, and also took his fight to Twitter, eventually attracting the attention of Aetna’s CEO, Mark T. Bertolini.

He was a little defensive at first:

But Aetna eventually (after a couple of days going back and forth to find a “solution”) decided to pay all of Arijit’s medical bills. Before he found out they were definitely going to do this, Arijit tweeted the following, very true and very sobering, observation:

So it’s a success story, but it’s also a downer.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely on Twitter. Share Arijit’s story with friends who may be facing similar situations and encourage them to join Twitter and speak out – or start speaking out for them! It works.

(Man on phone image from Shutterstock)