Staten Island man battles insurance company after being denied dental implants

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STATEN ISLAND, NY (PIX11) – Staten Island senior Magdy Hanna is in medical debt of $25,000 after receiving dental implants that he thought were covered by his health insurance plan.

In an exclusive interview with PIX11 News, Hanna expressed her frustration. “I’m a human being, and what insurance makes me feel like nothing,” Hanna said.

For years Hanna thought he couldn’t afford dental implants, until 2019 when he signed up for a UnitedHealthcare Dual Complete Special Needs plan.

Hanna said she was told the plan would cover her dental implants. “A lady from the insurance company called me. She said ‘Magdy, you’re approved,'” Hanna said.

Hanna shared a copy of the endorsement letter he later received from UnitedHealthcare with PIX11 News. He began the extensive dental implant process with a Brooklyn dentist when Hanna says the dentist shared some unexpected news.

“He said the insurance wouldn’t pay,” Hanna recalls. “I really didn’t know what to do.”

At that point, Hanna made the decision to pay the dentist for her implants. Hanna told PIX11 he believes his insurance company will reimburse him based on his previous approval letter.

To pay the dentist, Hanna says he borrowed $25,000 from people he knows.

After two years and several calls to UnitedHealthcare, Hanna contacted the Legal Aid Society for help. He is now working with attorney Rebecca Novick, director of the Legal Aid Society’s health law unit.

“It’s been extremely stressful for him,” Novick told PIX11 News. Novick explained that Hanna joined a healthcare plan designed for people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. “No one told him that in fact there was a limit to his Medicare benefits, and no one explained to him that he should have been with a provider who was also going to seek Medicaid services.”

After the Legal Aid Society takes over Hanna’s case, Novick says UnitedHealthcare sent Hanna a check for $2,000, but they are pushing UnitedHealthcare to refund Hanna all the money he paid. to the dentist.

A UnitedHealthcare representative told PIX11 News, “We are aware of this matter and are actively working with the member and the Department of Health to reach a resolution.”

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