should i get a lawyer? sorry this is so long…

should i get a lawyer? sorry this is so long…

in september of '06, i was living in massachusetts, in grad school, and i went to the clinic regarding serious abdominal type pains. They gave me an ultrasound, at which point i was diagnosed with gallstones. I was referred to a surgeon, and an appointment was made. I cancelled my appointment, as I felt i could just tough through it, and didnt want surgery, because i had enough going on due to grad school work. * I had insurance through the university that begain in august, and i paid for a year policy upfront. In case it's important, i did not have insurance coverage from the summer of 2005 until fall 2006 (when i got insurance at the university). three months later, due in large part to these health issues, i dropped out of the program, and moved back to ohio to live with my boyfriend. surprisingly, the gallbladder attacks ceased entirely. a month later i had a shiny new job with new insurance coverage that began in march. In june of this year, 2007, i started taking birth control pills. exactly one month later, i had another gallbladder attack. i immediately called a doctor, made an appointment to see them, and went through the process to get surgery. I had to take off work, because i could barely move the attacks were so bad. after lots and lots of fighting with "appointment setters" at the surgeons office, and one visit to the ER due to vomiting and all sorts of other fun things, i was told i would have to wait weeks for a surgery. however, the surgeon himself, who worked in the ER at times, got ahold of my file from the ER doctor that had been there when i went in, and when he saw my file, he called me and told me to come in immediately. He examined me and questioned me for five minutes, and an hour later, they were taking out my gallbladder. Unfortunately (for those of you who know about gallbladder surgery) i was one of those lucky 5% who had a surgery that started out as laparoscopic, didnt work, and then they had to open me up and do an open gallbladder removal. I was in the hospital 4 nights. This was about 3 weeks ago. I saw the surgeon today, I'm cleared to return to work next week. HURRAH! Now, here's the problem. Today i received a letter from my insurance company (United Healthcare/UMR). I, just for the record, absolutely do not trust insurance companies. The letter requests "All physicians seen during the period" and "any prescription medication taken during the period". The "time period" is 9/14/06 to 3/15/07. Keep in mind, i did have insurance coverage during this time. I have a sinking feeling they are trying to set me up to deny my insurance claims for my gallbladder surgery, due to a "pre-existing condition" clause. now, i looked up the HIPAA regulations on this, but I'm not sure I'm understanding this clearly. I have some money saved up, which should cover about half of my co-pay for this surgery, the ER, the hospital stay, etc. However, I already have a lot of student loans, and I don't know how I'll ever be able to afford to pay for this surgery all out of pocket... especially since i had to have the more expensive surgery. I'm terrified here, and I've been through so much in the past two months trying to get this all taken care of. Not to mention that I havent been able to work for a month, and I won't be eligible for short-term disability because it only starts after I've been away for 4 weeks - I will be coming back right after that deadline. Should I talk to a lawyer before I submit the information requested on these forms? I have never needed a lawyer, and I'm worried that the cost of consulting a lawyer will be prohibitive enough to make it not worth it... but at the same time, I hesitate to give the information requested in fear that I will somehow screw myself here. Please, any help would be so appreciated!! Thanks to everyone for their help! After I calmed down a bit (i always have a huge fear of insurance companies ripping me off), i took a closer look at the dates and my insurance coverage manual, and I think I'll be safe - just barely by the skin of my teeth, but at least for the dates they are requesting, i was covered via insurance, and I think it will be okay. again, thanks for all the help!
From my daffodil bed…

From my daffodil bed…

tv room :)

tv room :)

Plant ID Please

Plant ID Please

My Apartment

My Apartment

Lena’s Apartment: Installment 1, the  Nursery

Lena’s Apartment: Installment 1, the Nursery

Free flowers

Free flowers