Texas family battles insurance company to cover father's cancer treatment

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An Austin man who is fighting his fourth round of cancer says he ended up battling his insurance company too.

Michael Ginsberg is an addiction counselor from Austin. Married with a son and stepson, he knew he had no choice but to take cancer head-on again.

"So I have Hodgkin's lymphoma for the fourth time," said Ginsberg of his November 2021 diagnosis.

At 37 years old, he has now been fighting the deadly disease for more than a decade.

"And at this point, they don't really have specific treatments for that," he said.

But he did find an experimental trial with Dr. Carlos Almeida Ramos at Houston Methodist Hospital. In fact, he went through the trial successfully last spring after his third bout of the disease. And when his cancer returned, his team of doctors advised him to go through the trial again at a higher dose.

He was accepted, enrolled and was set to begin treatment on Valentine's Day, but just last week, Ginsberg's insurance with Baylor Scott & White Health pulled the plug.

"We are kind of in the 11th hour and we still don't have insurance approval. We just have a wealth of denials," said Ginsberg.

When ABC13 reached out to Baylor Scott & White Health to inquire into the denials, the insurance company sent the following statement:

We are not able to speak about any individual's case due to privacy laws, but we can speak broadly.

As we help members navigate complexities in health care, there are times unique circumstances and complex care needs require additional consideration and problem-solving.

Two days later, Ginsberg got word that the insurance would approve his treatment. Later that same day, Houston Methodist Hospital called him to confirm his Monday appointment.

After hours and days fighting to get this life-saving treatment, Ginsberg's last hope with the experimental trial was approved.

"Houston it is. We'll just have to fight cancer. Fight cancer, the easy part," he said.

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