Leslie Parks was 34 and ready to start a family, but struggled for a year and a half to conceive. Before embarking on fertility treatments, her doctor required that she and her husband get screened to determine their carrier status for various genetic diseases. He recommended a Silicon Valley-based startup called Counsyl and assured her that the test would be fully covered by her insurance.
Weeks later, Parks received a bill for more than $1,494 after her insurer deemed the test "experimental." Parks was shocked. As she later learned, that is the rate that Counsyl charges insurance companies; by contrast, their fee for uninsured patients is $349.
Under Counsyl's guidance, Parks entered into a lengthy appeals process with her insurance company, writing letters and making phone calls for months. She asked Counsyl representatives if she could pay the uninsured patient rate of $349, but they declined and insisted she press ahead with the appeals process.
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