When you hear the words of a breast cancer diagnosis, no matter your age or background, one of the thoughts that might be at the forefront of your mind is: “How am I going to be able to pay for this?”
Regardless of your insurance level, the costs for treatment can be extremely high and provide a level of stress on top of worrying about your health.
When Tiffany Murphy heard the words of her diagnosis, she was a 28-year-old mother to a young son, a student working to complete her graduate degree and a full-time employee working in disability insurance. Tiffany was fortunate to have insurance that would cover her treatment, but when her FMLA time ran out and her insurance situation changed, she quickly realized that the insurance world she thought she understood was far more complex.
Perhaps because of the whirlwind she had experienced through her treatment or the intricacies she learned while navigating the insurance field, but Tiffany was drawn to help others and in August, joined Aetna as a Member Advocate, where she’s passionate about helping people when they find themselves trying to manage their healthcare.
“The field of insurance is complicated and most people are on a fifth-grade level in terms of what they know about their coverage,” Tiffany said. “When someone calls needing support, I can take ownership from start to finish and help them. Many times, they’re scared or confused and don’t realize that we’re here to help. We’re part of a new model of the healthcare industry – a one-stop shop.”
Whether it’s explaining what deductibles are, helping a patient find an in-network physician or specialist, or discussing options for prescriptions, Tiffany catches the things that members might not know to ask.
“Many procedures and tests can be covered if they’re proactive. The same goes for experimental procedures if they come from a physician-made recommendation. There’s a stigma with the healthcare industry so that’s why I’m here; to advocate for members and help them through the process when they might be frustrated, scared or upset,” Tiffany said.
Tiffany’s own experience with the healthcare industry was made smoother once she realized she had secondary insurance and could stay in the same network and therefore work with the same healthcare professionals.
“There is also a lot a patient can manage about their healthcare plan online and I help walk people through that,” Tiffany said.
Tiffany was helped throughout her treatment by many good friends and family and feels lucky she can help others through their breast cancer journey.
“When you first hear that diagnosis, I would recommend calling your insurance provider to get an understanding of your plan and what might be covered. You can also get an idea of what providers you could see,” Tiffany said. “Ask to speak to a nurse and they can really help you with your pre-certifications and go through what will be covered throughout the entire process. Maybe your genetic testing would be covered. It’s worth asking.”
We’re proud to know Tiffany and the work she’s accomplishing. If you have any questions about how to navigate your breast cancer diagnosis, please contact us and we’ll put you in touch with people like Tiffany who can help.