Troubleshooter helps Raleigh quadriplegic with insurance denials

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- An insurance denial left a Raleigh quadriplegic frustrated with her insurance company and looking for help.

"I have to fight for something that I need that most people don't even think about," Ali Ingersoll said.

She was talking about a seat elevator on her power wheelchair. It's a function that her insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC, originally denied.

"I am paralyzed from here down. My hands are paralyzed; I can't live independently," she said.

Her wheelchair that she has had since 2015 has a seat elevator, and she said it helps in many daily activities, including getting in bed each night. She said it also helps her in the bathroom when washing her hands.

"To reach forward, I have to bring the chair up vertically to get that high. I don't think someone should get denied the basic functions of washing their hands or brushing their teeth," Ingersoll said.
But the motor on Ingersoll's wheelchair is wearing out, and BCBS of NC denied her request for her new power wheelchair to have a seat elevator.

According to the denial letters from BCBS of NC, the seat elevator was denied because the insurance giant deemed it not medically necessary.

"I had over forty pages of documentation from my doctor, physical therapist, durable medical supplier, stating that this piece of equipment is medically necessary," she said.

Since she exhausted her internal appeals with BCBS of NC, Ali turned to the Troubleshooter.

"I refuse to give up. I will not give up," she said.

I got Ingersoll's case off to BCBS of NC, and Ingersoll got good news.

"About 72 hours ago, Blue Cross called me on the phone and personally said that they are overturning their final denial appeal to me," she said, and she noted it was a welcome relief.

BCBS of NC provided this statement: "Blue Cross NC follows a robust review process, in which all appeals are carefully considered. Blue Cross NC always strives to do what's best for our members, and we thank Ms. Ingersoll for the opportunity to serve her."

Ingersoll said even though she won this battle, she's going to keep fighting for others who just give up.

"I'm not unique. I don't have a special case; there's so many of me out there who are getting denied," she said.

Ingersoll is also taking her fight to lawmakers as she wants those with spinal cord injuries to not have to fight so hard to get medical equipment that she said is vital to their daily living. You can follow her fight here.
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