- Arijit is a friend of mine who's battling stage IV colon cancer. Last February, he exceeded his lifetime cap on his graduate student health plan (run by Aetna), and his coverage was dropped. Since then, he's been running Poop Strong (poopstrong.org), a site where you can make a donation or buy an item, with all proceeds going to his healthcare or (if he has extra money) to charity. In the six months between when he was dropped and when he'll be picked up by another student health plan, he's been looking at well over $100K in medical bills for his treatments.
In addition to updates about his own condition and the state of Poop Strong, Arijit's been tweeting (naturally) about the state of health insurance, and recently, Aetna got involved. The conversation (as Twitter convos tend to do) sort of spirals out from the main thread between Arijit and Aetna. Since searching Twitter posts gets cumbersome, and this is a really, really important conversation, I've made this page to have a clear copy of that main thread. Comments from other users are included when they're useful, for context, or because they engage Mark Bertolini (@mtbert), CEO of Aetna, or Aetna's customer service/social media representatives.
If you're interested in following along in real-time, you may want to check in at Arijit's Twitter account (twitter.com/poop_strong) or search all tweets for mentions of his username ( https://twitter.com/#!/search/realtime/%40poop_strong …). I'm doing my best to represent the flow of conversation faithfully and preserve the context in which things were said, but if you feel that there are important things missing or misrepresented, feel free to leave a comment (with permalinks to tweets, if possible), and I'll look into it.
- @Chris_Ashworth comments, and Aetna responds with some good news:
- But, apparently, Aetna hasn't actually gotten in touch with Arijit yet. The first tweet below is sent just one minute before getting in touch with Chris, and the following ones are sent afterward:
- Aetna tells Arijit's friends that the situation's resolved:
- There are other side-threads also asking Aetna what they'll do to help other people in similar situations (no response), and there's more skepticism directed toward the idea of Aetna wanting to help or empower. Some tweets mention Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini (@mtbert):
- @mtbert responds:
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- David BarzagaSad. The healthcare system sure needs to improve.2013-08-09T09:11:26.506Z
- Jen WangThanks for asking, Paula. He's had a rough time of it lately, but still has an amazing attitude. You can stay posted on how he's doing at: https://www.facebook...Thanks for asking, Paula. He's had a rough time of it lately, but still has an amazing attitude. You can stay posted on how he's doing at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Poop-Strong/more2012-12-13T21:10:15.713Z
- Paula BojsenSo, how is Arijit doing? Recovering, I hope?2012-12-13T14:52:21.839Z
- Erin HavelHealth care in this country is a mess... we need to continue to tell these stories to help change the system http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/xcpf1...Health care in this country is a mess... we need to continue to tell these stories to help change the system http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/xcpf1/young_adult_cancer_patient_vs_health_care/more2012-07-29T19:49:08.825Z
- Jaym EschI don't his stance, but I will never allow myself to be murdered by lack of health care due to lack of funds. There are millions like me in America, who have no...I don't his stance, but I will never allow myself to be murdered by lack of health care due to lack of funds. There are millions like me in America, who have no resources, no income, no assets. We're not going to nod and go die in a corner to please conservatives. Without continuing to a nationalized, "no cost" (tax based) system, America is heading for "John Q" care. Thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people like myself will FORCE the doctors and hospitals to provide care. How do you do such a thing? Who knows? Kidnap a doctor's child? Plant bombs around a town and threaten to set them off unless you're given care and remain free? You tell me: What would YOU do to prevent your own murder?more2012-07-27T21:51:52.942Z
- souravguhaThe latest: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=398902670157480&id=3094837257660422012-07-27T20:38:32.666Z
- Andrea MayoPeter, I'm not sure how it's arrogant to complain when one has received poor customer service from a company or to point out when the representative of a...Peter, I'm not sure how it's arrogant to complain when one has received poor customer service from a company or to point out when the representative of a company is making hypocritical and half true statements. If your health care system isn't meeting your needs why aren't you doing the same? I know that I would trade my Aetna student insurance for Canadian health care any day.more2012-07-27T14:25:56.110Z
- Jen WangPeter, I don't understand. You say that you experience similar treatment from Blue Cross. It seems to me that Arijit is well within his rights to be critical of...Peter, I don't understand. You say that you experience similar treatment from Blue Cross. It seems to me that Arijit is well within his rights to be critical of a situation where he's offered only one choice for a plan, it fails to meet his needs, and then that failure is initially blamed on him when he talks to Aetna's CEO. That would, at best, be an unacceptable customer service situation. When that unacceptable situation stands between a sick person and the treatment they need, I think some indignance is more than justified.more2012-07-27T12:03:12.922Z
- peterbarbarossaBlue Cross is the Same way here in Canada,@james_randerson,really does need to choose his friends more wisly! There is no room on Twitter for arrogance as...Blue Cross is the Same way here in Canada,@james_randerson,really does need to choose his friends more wisly! There is no room on Twitter for arrogance as displayed by @Poop_Strong...I believe that @mjbert is trying to help change the Med/Insrnc System which was created by the Gov'mnt. ,..I have gone a similar sinerio in this country, were as the Insurance Company does not cover any of the Workers wages and is left to fend for him/herself at their own expence, "all there calls to Insurance companies go to Voice Mail & are never returned "more2012-07-27T11:13:58.254Z
- David R. Novak"How does he sleep at night?" ... On top of a pile of money with many beautiful ladies.2012-07-27T06:25:56.874Z