Man Succumbs To 7-Year Battle With Health Insurance

Top Headlines

Local

Detective Not Sure He Was Close Enough To Partner To Endlessly Pursue Killer

DETROIT—After his partner of three years was gunned down last week while the pair were on duty, Detective David Killian of the Detroit Police Department’s Major Case Squad told reporters Wednesday he was unsure whether he had been close enough to his murdered colleague to single-mindedly pursue the killer for as long as it takes.

Man Pretty Cocky Since Beating Cancer

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL—Whether he’s bragging about his newfound appreciation for life or arrogantly refusing to take anything for granted, local man Daniel Oretsky, 38, has been acting insufferably cocky since winning his two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, sources confirmed Tuesday.

Area Man Under Impression He Got Dressed Up

PROVIDENCE, RI—Explaining that the dinner he would soon be having at an upscale restaurant required him to wear something a bit special, local man Kyle Finnegan was under the impression that he had just gotten dressed up, sources said Thursday.

Man Honestly Thought Breakdown Would Be More Obvious To People

MAPLEWOOD, MN—Explaining that he had assumed the deterioration of his physical and psychological state would be readily apparent, 3M sales associate Mark Uhler told reporters Wednesday he honestly thought his ongoing breakdown would be more obvious to everyone around him.

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

Neighborhood Busybody Reports Sound Of Gunshots

INDIANAPOLIS—Once again sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong, neighborhood busybody Sally Christensen, 54, reportedly took it upon herself to report the sound of gunshots to law enforcement early Tuesday morning, sources confirmed.

Being Older Than Daughter Babysitter’s Only Qualification

UTICA, NY—Possessing no particular proficiencies or training whatsoever, local 12-year-old Jessica Radloff was reportedly hired to babysit Hayley Carden, 7, this week based solely on her qualification of being older than the child she was asked to watch.

Total Weirdo Spends Mother’s Day At Cemetery

ST. MARYS, OH—Apparently content to hang around dead people rather than celebrate like a normal person, area weirdo John Mills spent most of Mother’s Day at a local cemetery, creeped-out sources confirmed.

Child Visiting Ellis Island Sees Where Grandparents Once Toured

ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Email From Mom Sent At 5:32 A.M.

DENVER—After waking up and finding the message waiting on his computer, local man Drew Swanson confirmed to reporters Thursday that his mother had sent him an email at 5:32 a.m.

Man Proud Of Food He Ordered

DEDHAM, MA—Noting how the man grinned with satisfaction after his Buffalo Chicken Ranch sandwich with a side of spiced panko onion rings arrived at his table, sources at Chili’s Grill & Bar confirmed Tuesday that local diner Matt Schoesse ...

Fast Food Drive-Thru Just Cow Carcass, Bucket For Money

VENTURA, CA—Calling it the ultimate combination of freshness, value, and convenience, local fast food chain Sunshine Burger announced that, beginning this week, its regular drive-thru windows would be replaced by a cow carcass and a bucket for money...

Oh God, Teacher Arranged Desks In Giant Circle

OVERLAND PARK, KS—Appearing stunned and unsettled as they entered her classroom Wednesday, students from Ms. Frederickson’s fourth-period social studies class were reportedly overcome with panic 

Disgusting Couple Always Interacting In Public

MINNEAPOLIS—Saying the pair was making everyone nearby feel uncomfortable, onlookers stated Wednesday they were disgusted by local couple Tyler Meacham and Caitlyn Ashford’s habit of interacting in public.

Siblings Quietly Relieved Oldest Brother Setting Bar So Low

CHARLOTTE, NC—Explaining how the 25-year-old’s personal and academic shortcomings had made their relationship with their parents far easier, siblings Eric and Theresa Conrad confided to reporters Friday that they were quietly relieved their ol...

Grandson’s Jigsaw Puzzle Strategy Fucking Pathetic

SCOTTSDALE, AZ—Calling the 7-year-old’s attempt at fitting together the pieces the most idiotic display he’s witnessed in almost eight decades on earth, local grandfather Harold Randolph told reporters Wednesday that his grandson’s...

Woman Has No Business Being An Extrovert

SAN ANTONIO, TX—Explaining that the character trait does not seem to suit her well, acquaintances of local woman Mary Randolph told reporters Wednesday that the 32-year-old accountant really has no business being an extrovert.

Man Completes Life $130,000 Over Budget

SAN FRANCISCO—Having drastically underestimated the expenses required for such an elaborate production, recently deceased local man Norman Dennison is said to have completed his 84-year life Tuesday approximately $130,000 over budget.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Food

Man Succumbs To 7-Year Battle With Health Insurance

DENVER—After years of battling crippling premiums and agonizing deductibles, local resident Michael Haige finally succumbed this week to the health insurance policy that had ravaged his adult life.

A healthy Michael Haige and his wife, six months before his courageous struggle with health insurance began.

Haige, who had suffered from limited medical coverage for nearly a decade, passed away early Monday morning. According to sources, the 46-year-old was laid to rest at Fairplains cemetery, surrounded by friends, family members, and more than $300,000 of mounting debt.

"I miss Michael every single day, but at least he can finally rest now," said Sheila Haige, who watched as insurance rates ate away at her husband over time. "What Michael went through, the humiliating forms, the invasive background checks, the complete loss of dignity and hope—I wouldn't wish that kind of torture on anyone."

Once a healthy and happy father of two, Haige saw his life forever change seven years ago when health insurance professionals diagnosed him with a preexisting condition. As months passed and his line of credit continued to deteriorate, the former high school football coach would experience excruciating headaches and bouts of nausea every time another hospital bill arrived.

"My dad always seemed invincible, like there was nothing in the world that could hurt him," son Ryan Haige said. "But then, one night, I found him bent over a stack of UB-92 and HCFA forms, and he was crying. I'd never seen my father look so scared in all my life."

Added Ryan, "Making those payments each month—it was killing him."

While family members refused to look at Haige's insurance plan as a death sentence, it soon became clear that their loved one was facing the biggest fight of his life. Countless visits to doctors, claims adjusters, and loan officers proved futile, with Haige being told at every turn that his case was hopeless.

"They said there was nothing they could do for him, that modern medicine was powerless against this monster," Sheila Haige said. "Still, Michael never gave up. He kept saying that he was going to beat the odds, that he was going to find some way to get coverage."

According to an independent study released last month by the Mayo Clinic, health insurance is the nation's No. 2 cause of death, claiming the lives of some 400,000 Americans each year. A silent killer, health insurance often strikes without warning, its harmful and profit-based policies avoiding detection until it is far too late. Although the cruel bureaucratic disorder does not discriminate, statistics have shown that senior citizens, young dependents, and those woefully underemployed are most at risk.

"I can't tell you the number of patients I've had to deliver the bad news to over the years," said Haige's longtime family physician, Dr. Howard Silverman. "It's never easy to look someone in the eye and tell them it's going to have to be out-of-pocket. For most of these poor people, prayer is the only hope."

Toward the end of Haige's seven-year ordeal, family members said, the once loving husband and father had become an empty husk of his former self.

"I remember the last thing he ever said to me," said eldest son Mark Haige, holding a small picture of his father during happier times, before the endless battery of co-pays began. "He took my hand in his, and he said, 'Son, promise me you'll never sign up for a high-deductible, network-model HMO.'"

While still angry and in shock over Michael's premature passing, Sheila and her two children say the whole experience has taught them the importance of family.

"If Dad were still with us, I know he would want us to be here, at home, supporting Mom," Mark Haige said. "She really hasn't been doing so well ever since Bankers Life and Casualty denied her life insurance claim."

Next Story