E-cigs & Blue Cross/Blue Shield Regs

Discussion in 'New Members Forum' started by Idahojo, Mar 5, 2009.

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  1. Idahojo

    Idahojo Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    I was scheduled to have back surgery this month & recently found out that BC/BS is denying my surgery because I'm a smoker. They say I have to be done with smoking for 6 weeks before they will approve my surgery. I was planning on quitting soon anyway but was slightly upset about them not telling me before. No info in any literature. First of all, I would like to know how they would know if I quit or not. Is there a test? I recently started using the ecigs and am wondering if anyone has had any experience with insurance providers and ecigs.
  2. Programmer

    Programmer Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Yes, there is a test, but it's a nicotine test. So someone heavy hitting the approved NRT patches would test positive as well. That's a whole can of worms right there, affects people looking for employment too, but I'll leave it at that.

    The real reason I replied though is I wanted to ask: Man, on what grounds are they denying you back surgery just because you smoke/smoked? I mean seriously! This one I gotta hear.
  3. Nuck

    Nuck Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    If you are using ecigs you should be fine. The half life of nicotine is pretty short...about 2 hours.
  4. Programmer

    Programmer Senior Member ECF Veteran

    And the half life of cotinine is about 20 hours. So we are talking days and days before there is no trace or anything that paints you as a nicotine addict. (It's not as simple as just giving up the puffing 24 hours before the test.)

    I think the real question is are they gonna haul you into a lab just to see what kind of substances you are addicted to? And I'm still curious to know why they even care. I'm assuming you were truthful before even purchasing the policy so there must be some medical reason rather than an "ah hah!" type thing.
  5. Nuck

    Nuck Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Ahh..I didn't know that. So about a week of waiting to be safe. Good info to have should I ever have to live in country without socialized medicine.

    sorry..couldn't resist :)
  6. Walrus

    Walrus Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    I had back surgery in 2001. My doc made me quit smoking prior... smoking reduces the body's ability to heal properly. Probably has something to do with the amount of oxygen in your blood.
  7. justus6

    justus6 Full Member

    i'm in the same situation I need double knee replacements and I have to be smoke free for 6 weeks prior as well not only is it a matter of smoking slowing the healing but it is also a circulation problem as well. to be on the safe side I'm hoping to be nic free by then as well still vapeing but zero nic liquid only.
  8. asidrave

    asidrave Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran


    give 0 nic juice a try..... :)
  9. momswann

    momswann Senior Member ECF Veteran

    I highly doubt that BC/BS is denying your surgery because they are worried about complications. I'm sorry, I just don't think health insurance companies are altruistic. I just wonder if they are putting weight restrictions on morbidly obese people as well. Probably not, because that would be politically incorrect, whereas jumping all over smokers IS politically correct.

    Just my little morning vent....
  10. MonkeyMonk

    MonkeyMonk Super Member ECF Veteran

    How long have you had your policy? How did they know you smoked? I've googled your situation, but relative to smoking I'm not getting links with much info.

    If time permits, I'll wotk on it before bed. Right now I can't see your state. If you don't have it posted could you let me know via a message what State you live in. It might help me with searching for information and appeals for you. Thanks!

    Obesity is on the radar already
    How Employers Wage War On Workplace Obesity - Forbes.com

    In Tennessee BC/BS is requiring an IQ test prior to allowing surgery for the obese.
    Tennessee has IQ test requirement for weight loss surgery! Wow!-Obesity Surgery-Obesity Discussion Forums
  11. skullsoup432

    skullsoup432 Senior Member ECF Veteran

    I had two knee surgeries about 5 years ago and BC/BS was my health provider. This was my employers coverage. If I remember correct, they were worried about adverse effects with the anaesthesiology as well. I guess smokers have a higher negative reaction to it.
  12. Momof3

    Momof3 Super Member ECF Veteran

    I don't know about BC/BS and the surgery issues, but I do know I'm listed as a tobacco user with my current life insurance and I had not smoked for 3wks before they did the saliva test. Like the DNA swabs you see on TV. Cotton swab in the mouth.

    I was looking at switching companies and the lady told me at least 30 days off nicotine if I wanted a chance at passing, but 60days should guarantee it. How accurate that is or whether it's actually the nicotine and not something else, I can't say. That's just what the insurance lady told me. HTH

    Forgot to say I've had many issues with BC/BS over the years over a range of things. Things like refusing to cover my son's birth because he was too old to be listed as a dependent. Now I was 21 at the time and this was the charges for his birth. They kept insisting he was something like 64yrs old. Rather than just fix the error on his DOB that whoever had made when they entered it into the computer, I had to physically take him into their offices so they could inspect him to verify he was indeed a newborn infant. :shock:

    Once they finally fixed the error they told the doctor's office to resubmit. When she did they then denied the claim saying the doctor had waited too long to file. Good luck with them.
  13. Idahojo

    Idahojo Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Thanks for all the input. Supposedly they say smoking affects the healing process. I'm on BC/BS with work and answered truthfully on the initial papers. But I don't remember anywhere in the literature where they said they could deny me healthcare because of smoking. I live in Idaho. But I would like to know if it's the nicotine that affects the healing or the actual smoke from analogs that affect it.
  14. QueenInNC

    QueenInNC Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    I have wondered about e smoking and health/life insurance. What if I had quit smoking for 6 months but still used the patch? Nicotine would still show, but I am not smoking. ya know?
  15. Cellmeister

    Cellmeister Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    BC/BS is a Big Wolf in Sheep's Clothing!

    Just Beware of BlueCross / Blueshield!

    Their CEO's Hit The Most Outrageous Pay Scale Then Got High Raises On Top Of That!

    In A Recent News Report BC/BS is Claiming Big Loss's! What a Crock of Shiet!

    BC/BS = Money & Greed

    They Pulled Some Crap With Me Several Times As Well, I had it corrected but it was hell!

    Screw BC/BS!

    Keep Vapin!
  16. Cellmeister

    Cellmeister Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Hi QueenInNC,

    Some Companies Do Test for Smokers By Testing For Nicotine In The Blood!

    With The Patch or Other Nicotine Source You Will Be Considered A Smoker With The Companies That Do Test For Nicotine.

    But Not All Insurance Companies Use The Nicotine Test, But it is standard with most of them!

    I think Testing For a Smoker with the Nicotine test is BS!

    But How do we change a standard test?

    Hope this Helps!
  17. QueenInNC

    QueenInNC Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    I agree!!!!
  18. MonkeyMonk

    MonkeyMonk Super Member ECF Veteran

    Found this scary article

    The Ever Rising Health Care Cost, has to be Cut off Now. | NowPublic News Coverage

    ".... Last week I took part in a think Tank about the future of Health care...

    The most realistic coast savings would be achieved with deeply ethical and moral changes, such as no longer keeping coma patients on live support for longer then a month. Alternatively, letting severely handicapped and premature new-born babies dye rather then put them through life support, surgery and highly questionable interventions. Each premature new-born not receiving such intervention would save around $700,000.00.

    In addition putting a cap on life saving surgeries such as an age limit of 70, meaning no more surgeries can be performed after that age no matter the cause.

    For terminally ill patients such as cancer patients allow assisted suicide or also called dignified dying aid. Other such issues came up of course and many questions where raised, both ethical and pragmatical."

    This is very scary to me... Who is next??? America better wake up! It reminds me of the premises of Nazism and that perfect race.
  19. MonkeyMonk

    MonkeyMonk Super Member ECF Veteran

  20. Cellmeister

    Cellmeister Ultra Member ECF Veteran

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