Look! Look! This is Steven. Steven has cancer.

Look! Look! This is a letter from Aetna, Steven’s insurance company.

Aetna does not want to pay for Steven’s chemotherapy, despite having already authorized Steven’s chemotherapy. Isn’t that silly?

Here is what will happen. Aetna will ultimately pay for Steven’s chemotherapy. Did you know they send letters like this all the time? It’s true! They hope people will be scared by the mean words in the letter and pay for the services themselves. They hope people will not follow up. But here is another funny thing! Steven is an oncologist! An oncologist is a cancer doctor! That means Steven knows how to deal with an insurance company that reflexively denies pre-approved coverage. But many Americans do not know what to do when they get letters like this. That is why it is good to have health-insurance reform. That is why it is good to shame Aetna. (It is not only Aetna who does this. Many insurance companies send mean letters saying NO NO NO, we will not do the job insurance companies are supposed to do, even though we are an insurance company. Some people call letters like this “nastygrams.”) We hope this kind of bad corporate behavior will stop. Aetna needs to sit in the time-out corner and think about what it has done.

Does this story make you sad? Maybe a picture of Steven with his kitty, Jelly Bean, will make you happy.

Are you happy now? No? Even though Jelly Bean is a very good-looking kitty? Then read more about Steven’s fight with cancer and with his insurance company on his blog. Steven explains the letter here. What would you do if you were Steven? (Guess what? You are!)