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West Michigan woman beat cancer, continues battling insurance

Posted at 6:10 PM, Aug 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 18:10:35-04

MARSHALL, Mich. -- Despite fighting off cancer twice, Mina Garza said she continues to battle her insurance company over payments for her chemotherapy treatments. She said Aflac has left her with $1,800 in medical bills.

"I've paid my premiums," she said.

For a time, Garza said Aflac Insurance did its job. She was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2008 and said doctors put her on two types of chemotherapy treatments. One was "in-facility infusions" and the other was "pump infusions". Garza wore the pump for 48 hours at a time.

"When I filed my claims for the benefits for that cancer, they paid both of the treatments. The in-facility infusion and the pump infusion, and I didn't have any problems," Garza explained.

But the cancer returned in 2016. The Marshall resident said she underwent another surgery and 6 months of the same chemotherapy treatments. She said Aflac paid the first two months for both treatments. However, she said the company then became inconsistent with making payments with no rhyme or reason for what was covered.

"They started paying one. Maybe the in-facility and the next time they would pay the pump, and it would sometimes alternate or sometimes they'd pay the same one twice in a row and then they'd pay both of them," Garza explained.

She said dealing with the mounting financial stress compounded the stress of fighting cancer.

"It is a lot," Garza said of the $1,800.

She said she's consistently paid about $40 a month toward her premiums yet has dealt with the runaround for a year now.

"They deduct [the premiums] from my account every month, and I feel like that's a benefit that I should have. That's what I have the insurance for, and I've been battling with them for a year," Garza said.

"I just don't understand it. Unless they're just trying to not pay out as much money. Then I feel like, then why did you do it in the beginning," she said.

So Garza reached out to the FOX 17 Problem Solvers. We called Aflac late last week. Garza said she heard back Monday from an Aflac representative who told her he will meet with executive management and get back to her this Friday. We'll let you know what happens.