Cancer Patient Loses Coverage Over Two-Cent Mistake

Ronald Flanagan and wife - cancer coverage mistake
Ronald Flanagan and wife - cancer coverage mistake

Vietnam veteran Ronald Flanagan found out his COBRA insurance had been canceled because of a mere two pennies -- just as he was about to undergo a potentially life-saving stem cell transplant to treat his multiple myeloma.

Though Flanagan's treatment seems to have been legal, under the rules of the Department of Labor, insurance carriers must provide notice 30 days before terminating coverage even if there are accusations of fraud. Companies are also required to give people who send payments that are below the amount due time to cure the deficiency. That's what happened in Flanagan's case, though its unclear how that message didn't get through to him.