At age 3 months, however, our pediatrician said she had plagiocephaly and torticollis. These two difficult-to-pronounce words--indicating issues with head shape and neck movement--weren't what we wanted to hear! But in addition to having faith in God's plan, we were also very glad to hear that these conditions were correctable. We needed to get her a cranial band (sometimes called a cranial helmet, although hers was not a full helmet) that she would wear for a few months.
The cranial band is a specialized type of treatment requiring advanced imaging techniques and has a very limited number of providers. The best one, from our research, was a company called Cranial Technologies. We drove her three hours to the nearest Cranial Tech location in Orlando where an extremely nice woman named Kristina took measurements. Sure enough, the measurements strongly supported the band.
Let's skip ahead for a moment and look at a picture of her sleeping outside while wearing her band:
So all turned out well, but before then something very interesting happened with insurance.
Cranial bands to treat plagiocephaly are a very time-sensitive treatment. After the baby is several months old, time starts working against you as babies' heads become more set and making changes becomes increasingly difficult. If you know you need to use a cranial helmet treatment, you want to start as soon as possible.
We were surprised, then, when Cranial Tech told us the next step was usually a 2-week wait for insurance company approval. In particular, they contact the insurance company and try to convince them that the band is a necessary medical procedure. Most insurance companies ultimately refuse to pay for this specialized treatment, but if you just get the treatment when it's needed without prior authorization from the insurance company, then you have no chance of being reimbursed.
My wife said, "Colin, we drove 3 hours here for a reason. Instead of weeks delay and another trip, let's just call Medi-Share and see what they say."
When I called, a Medi-Share representative was on the line with me in around 90 seconds. She told me that Medi-Share doesn't have any requirement of prior authorization. She believed the expense would be fully eligible for sharing (covered), and although she couldn't give a definite answer without seeing the bill and how it was coded, getting the treatment now we would be just as eligible for reimbursement compared to waiting.
We told Cranial Tech and they scheduled us in right then. We wrote the first of potentially eight $500 checks and got the first treatment (a comprehensive imaging used to custom-design the band) that same morning. Medi-Share received the bill and contacted us to let us know it was fully eligible for sharing. Not only did they pay the rest of what we owed, but they sent us a $500 check to reimburse our first payment!
With conventional insurance, we would have faced a very difficult choice. Do we:
(A) Delay a needed treatment for our daughter by weeks, but potentially have insurance pay for it?
(B) Get the treatment right away, but risk paying $4,000 out of pocket unnecessarily?
With Medi-Share, however, we got her the treatment she needed immediately and had the entire process paid in full for us.
Medi-Share was such a tremendous blessing. Our daughter only ended up needing the band for around 6 weeks, which went by very quickly. Now her plagiocephaly and torticollis are cured. When you're a parent, these situations can be very stressful. Having an insurance alternative that really cares about you and your family is invaluable, more so than even the financial savings.