According to an NPR report, a deaf and blind Missouri man claims his house insurance increased by 11% due to an unnoticed medical bill that went to debt collections.
Another California lady claims that her insurance coverage has been terminated every year since 2010 because she has been unable to understand her insurance company’s printed “verification of benefits” form. Even after engaging an attorney, the troubles persisted.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was a significant accomplishment, but much more has to be done. Even though an Indiana woman who is blind filed a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, the insurance company sent her invoices that she said she couldn’t read.
An investigation discovered that health insurance and healthcare systems across the United States violated disability rights legislation by sending individuals inaccessible medical bills and notices.
This technique adds administrative and financial challenges to people with disabilities by making it more difficult for blind Americans to understand their tax obligations. According to the National Federation of the Blind, seven million persons in the United States are blind or visually impaired.
According to disability rights attorneys, people with disabilities have a legal right under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Affordable Care Act, and the Rehabilitation Act to have their medical records and bills in an accessible format. Despite this, several visually impaired patients have told news reporters that the letters they receive are usually unintelligible.
Certain websites have been identified to use specific code that prevents content from being read aloud by screen reader tools. Some healthcare providers and insurers use tactile Braille to help the visually impaired read papers. Visually impaired people may be able to read regular print with the assistance of magnifying glasses or other equipment. Still, they will need help understanding their small-print medical bills.
“I tell them that sending me small-print communication is like hiring a mime to talk to me outside my window,” Stuart Salvador said.
Salvador estimates it takes about six hours to convert a paper medical bill into Braille. He claims that when he received medical bills, he didn’t understand the automated medical debt referral systems at CoxHealth, and Mercy hospital networks repeatedly sent him to collections. He claimed that his homeowner’s insurance increased by 11%, costing him an extra $133.51 per year and causing him a lot of trouble.
Salvador claimed that he and other visually impaired patients faced significant challenges accessing their medical records. He and other patients mentioned that even when hospitals and insurance companies are aware of a problem, it is difficult to reach them.
They may only realize the problem once it is too late. Even though records of unpaid bills and the like may be helpful in a later legal dispute, some blind people do not keep them because they cannot read them.