Universal Health Care - Terrifying health care by Universal Health Care of St. Petersburg, Florida

Posted on Monday, July 6th, 2009 at 8:35pm CDT by bfd94cff

Product: Health insurance

Company: Universal Health Care

Location: 100 Central Avenue Suite 200
St. Petersburg, Fl, 33701, US

URL: http://www.univhc.com/

Category: Other

Sir, the following information pertains to our health care system and Universal Health Care of St. Petersburg, Florida and their medical director, Dr. Edward Lowenstein in particular. This is the terrifying and life threatening experience I had in the country of Thailand because of them.

I understand that these insurance companies are getting Federal money to help take care of "we the people" and our medical needs. Well, I was in need and almost died because of the shoddy, perverse, irresponsible disregard Universal Health Care and their medical director, "ax man" Dr. Lowenstein had for me in my time of need.

I am a U.S. Citizen of the State of Florida for over 25 years, a U.S. Army cold war veteran, 1958 to 1961, honorably discharged and just went through the most terrifying experience of my entire life thanks to my medical insurance company, Universal Health Care of St. Petersburg, Florida, their medical director Dr. Edward Lowenstein and their legal department. And I am going to send my story to anyone and everyone I can think of who might listen to it, No American should have to endure the true horror and suspense I was put through in a Thai hospital prison because my insurance company denied me service after initially approving it!

I am 69 years old and traveled the world most of my adult life. Spending a lot of time in Asia, I felt I needed a Medi-Care medical insurance policy that would protect me when I was out of the country for extended periods of time. I chose Universal Health Care because their agent Barry Edens sold me by assuring me that I would be 100% covered for any Urgent of Emergency care I needed, but I would not be covered for elective things I could get done in the U.S. I made it VERY clear to him that I was out of the country more than I was in it and I wanted to make sure I was covered before I switched Insurance companies from the one I was with to them. This is the ONLY reason I insured with them, their agent assured me I would be covered no matter how long I was out of the country as long as I maintained a local address which I have.

In July of 2007 when I was still in America, after suffering severe pain and swelling of my right knee and pain in the left one, I was diagnosed as needing a right knee replacement with the left one to follow in the near future.

I had already planned for my wedding in Thailand which could not be changed so I decided to have the procedure done in Thailand "AT MY OWN EXPENSE" being aware that it was elective at this point an because top of the line medical care is available in Thailand at 80% LESS than in the U.S. and also because I would have my wife to help take care of me after the procedure. I had NO ONE at my home in Florida to help me after such a major surgery.

The procedure was done in November of 2007 for LESS THAN $7,000 and was very successful with me being able to walk with a walker in less than a week and normally in less than a month.

But sometime in July I started experiencing pain and discomfort for which my doctor gave me pain pills. It got worse and I was told to use an exercise bike to strengthen it. It still got worse and a through examination showed a severe infection had developed that was also eating away BONE MATERIAL that was why so much pain. It progressed to the point that I could NOT WALK!

My doctor said I needed as soon as possible to have the prosthesis removed, this was URGENT and an EMERGENCY and needed to be done IMMEDIATELY to save my leg or my life. Then a TEMPORARY cement spacer would be installed to keep the bones from touching, a full length fiberglass leg cast would be installed, and I would need IV antibiotics EVERY DAY for the next six weeks to clean me of infection. Then I had to wait a few weeks getting blood tests every week to make sure I was infection free and then he would revise the new prosthesis.

I have 4 documents from my doctor dated Oct 15, Nov 5 "2" and Nov 12 to substantiate this and the urgency of it. At this time he said "Diagnosis, Orteolytic of tibia and Femur, infected prostheses." This was a 2 part procedure, first removing the original prosthesis, 6 weeks of IV antibiotics EVERY DAY to make sure all of the infection was cleared up, 2 more weeks of waiting and blood tests to MAKE SURE it was cleared up, then the revision of a new prosthesis.

At this time I had a full leg fiberglass cast on my leg that prohibited me from flying or even riding in a car for over 1 hour. I called the insurance company number on the card they gave me and was assured 3 times that I was covered AS LONG AS I WENT THROUGH THE EMERGENCY ROOM and it was not an elective procedure. They said the hospital only had to fax them a bill and they would pay for it. That is how I was brought in, through the ER as I was unable to walk at this time. Another phone to UHC stated NO PROBLEM, just fax us the information from the hospital and they will pay the bill.

After the surgery was over the hospital requested several times a letter of guarantee from UHC to which they got NO reply so the hospital started bugging me to call my insurance company to get this for them before I could be released. So, after a major surgery, I am on the phone international long distance for OVER 2 HOURS EVERY night trying to get first just an authorization number for my procedure and a letter of guarantee from them. I would spend 20 minutes explaining what happened to me from the start of my procedure to where I was now in the hospital only to be told, I must hold while the person I just talked to got someone ELSE to help me. Then, I had to go through all this again with someone else, ONLY TO BE TOLD THE SAME THING AGAIN! I must talk to someone else.

FINALLY a nice lady by the name of Georgia, 727-456-2934 gave me the approval number of U 11050877 and said a Mr. Kevin Hammond would send out the letter of guarantee. I had to phone them EVERY NIGHT for 8 night straight to get this done being jacked around every time I called for over 2 hours.

In Thailand, the laws are VERY different from in America. The hospital WILL NOT releases you until your bill is paid or your insurance company sends a letter of guarantee. I was supposed to be released on the 15th of Nov but the hospital "kept" me until the letter of guarantee finally came, 12 days after the hospital first requested it and after 8 expensive at my expense international long distance phone calls from me, each lasting at least 2 hours, usually more..

THEN as I am laying in my hospital bed where I am supposed to be recovering, my insurance company now says they will not pay for the replacement of my knee as they now see that as an elective procedure that could be done in the U.S.! I have NO KNEE and they say it is elective for me to get another one and I must return to the U.S. for it!

This Is Incredible! I am in a full leg cast, IMPOSSIBLE to get on an airplane, must take IV antibiotics EVERY day which in itself is a 3 hour procedure I have no knee, only a piece of cement and they want me to come back to the U.S. and get it done where it will cost 80% MORE than in Thailand and where I have NO ONE to help me after it is over.

My doctor said I could not sit for more than one hour in a car because it would cause cramps and muscle spasms yet UHC wants me to sit for 28 to 36 hours on an airplane I could not get my leg into! UHC has now put me in a life and death situation, I cannot leave that CEMENT spacer in place of my knee for long or it too will become infected! They OK??d putting it in and will now let me loose my leg or my life by not finishing the procedure they sent a letter of guarantee starting!

It was like talking to a brick, my doctor told them, I told them, we sent documents to them that I COULD NOT fly but they insisted I had to come to the U.S. to get done a procedure that they OK'd in the first place to start. If I did not get the second part of the procedure done, I was again in danger as the cement spacer was only temporary, a foreign object in my body that in itself could cause new infection, I could hardly get around other than to sit or lay, unable to travel and NOW they refuse to finish this operation.

After getting home I had to continue my international long distance phone merry go round getting the same response from each person I was "referred" to saying I needed to fly back to the U.S. which was impossible for me to do. Now I am again facing a life threatening situation is this procedure is not completed. After being put through many days and nights, "I had to call at night because of the 12 hour time difference," of mental strain, suffering and anguish over this, FINALLY a lady by the name of Calli in the complaint department, 727-456-6612 tells me the same thing, I could get this all done in the U.S.!

I really got upset by this time threatening to go to the news outlets, writes my congressman, TV 8 on your side, etc. She FINALLY told me they would cover the rest of the procedure and for me to NOT CALL them any more that this was between the hospital and the insurance company and all my calls were confusing the issue! FINALLY, peace of mine.....or so I thought.

My doctor decided that I was ok enough to have the procedure finished on the 23rd of February as my system looked cleared up of infection through the blood tests I had every week. So we made the appointment for the 23rd of Feb to finish the replacement started in November.

As life would have it, about the 8th of Feb I came down with severe diarrhea, vomiting, could not eat and was sleeping 16-18 hours per day as I just could not get out of bed for more than an hour each day. Finally, my wife took me to the hospital "at my expense" where I was given antibiotics and electrolyte.

It got worse. Being driven home I started to loose my eyesight, everything becoming a blinding white light, cars passing us just looked like spots, I was loosing awareness of what or who I was, or where I was. I felt in my mind like I was dieing, I never felt like this in my life. When trying to get out of our truck, I just fell right back into it, I could not walk, even with crutches as I had no balance. I had to use a walker to get to my bed.

My wife immediately took me back to the hospital where Dr. Pinij took one look at me and immediately had me admitted. This was on Monday the 16th of Feb. They found my white blood count was dangerously low, my platelets were low, blood pressure was 90/70, my heart rate up from a normal of 68 shot up to 88 and I had acute infective diarrhea and Bicytopenia.

They started IV antibiotics again, blood transfusions, platelet transfusions and something for my kidneys as they too were in trouble. The doctor said I truly WAS dieing and this was an URGENT EMERGENCY now. So they cancelled my knee replacement as I had to be bacteria free to do this so the insurance company was never notified to get prior authorization for the knee replacement.

The hospital did every test they could, x-rays, sonogram, CAT scan and could not resolve why I had this acute infective diarrhea and Bicytopenia, what was causing it.

Finally as a really emergency procedure again, they sent me to a specialist hospital where they did a bone marrow biopsy to see if I had bone cancer. That showed and identified that I did not have bone cancer but had a severely infected knee that HAD to be operated on IMMEDIATELY to save my life. The temporary cement spacer was now a breeding ground for infection and HAD to be removed and my leg cleaned out. This was now a Saturday and therefore impossible to get an authorization from UHC as they are closed for the weekend and the operation HAD to be done Monday morning, it was life and death now. It took those over 5 1 /2 hours to do the operation as there was so much infection to be cleaned up this time.

Again the hospital sent for a letter of guarantee from UHC on the 16th to which they got no answer and again they were after me to do it. So, the very day of my operation when I should be resting and healing, I am again on the phone with "at my expense" international long distance phone calls to the insurance company that tells me NOT to call them to get this. AGAIN I am jacked from person to person for 2 or more hours each time for several NIGHTS like this when I am supposed to be sleeping. FINALLY a nice lady by the name of Doris, 866-690-4842 gives me an approval number of U 02250952.

I told her I also needed a letter of guarantee to the hospital. She told me the authorization number was as good as a guarantee but I could check by by phone to check up on this as it took them at least 72 hours to fax it to the hospital and the hospital wanted it NOW.

On the 27th of Feb I talked to another very helpful lady by the name of Stacy from 9:05pm until 9:40 pm about the letter of guarantee. She told me I had one coming with a starting date of 16 Feb and NO CLOSING DATE. I told her I needed it faxed to the hospital I was told to fax a request for the letter of guarantee to fax nr. 727-497-3626 in attention of Tim and he would take care of it. Again I was approved over the phone by a person with a name and phone number.

On 3 March at 1010 pm I talked with Sabrina who would put in a request to e-mail the information to the hospital. Of course it never came.

On March 10 Dr. Edward Lowenstein Medical Director of Universal Health Care sent a letter to the hospital stateing "There is no documentation that after the November 5-19 stay in 2008 there were ongoing "urgent" issues with the knee replacement. Further it seems that during the recent acute stay for diarrhea another orthopedic procedure was performed on Mr. .Ruehle, however, the indications for these procedures are not documented."

The hospital forwarded Dr. Lowenstein many documents from Oct thru Nov 2008, documents I forwarded to Dr. Lowenstein was notified SEVERAL times by both e-mail and fax that this was not the case and that the complete procedure had to URGENTLY be done. Also a letter from my doctor stating it had to be done to safe my life.

Dr. Lowenstein further states in his letter which I can include several from him for you that "Universal Health Care would be liable for the current stay for diarrhea but not for any revision of his knee. If there is further documentation of the orthopedic issues with the current admission please forward them to me." Remember, the diarrhea was NOT the problem with me but a SYMPTHOM of the problem which was a severely infected knee and temporary cement spacer that needed to be removed and a new prosthesis replaced immediately to save my life and to cure the diarrhea. The only cure for the diarrhea was to remove the infected cement spacer, clean out my knee and ??FINISH?? the operation they started and approved by UHC in November..

Dr. Lowenstein and his secretary say in 2 separate letters that they are liable for the diarrhea and to cure that, the knee replacement started in November had to be finished. He says they ARE liable for the diarrhea, so therefore they are ALSO liable for the knee replacement as this was the ONLY WAY to cure the diarrhea. Yet he refuses to do this, again it is like talking to a brick.

The hospital has sent them enough paperwork to fell a forest but UHC says they got nothing! And we get the run-a-round. Further, again in Diane's letter that Dr. Lowenstein has approved a 3 day hospital stay to provide for urgent care and stabilization for his acute diarrhea. The revision of the right knee/new prosthesis is not covered as this was a planned procedure and would need to be pre-authorized at an in-network facility."

Again, like talking to a brick. I was dieing, this is a documented URGENT EMERGENCY to save my life and this man wants me to come back to the U.S. to have it done at an in-network facility.....at an 80% higher cost to boot!

And yet a 3rd letter from Dr. Lowenstein states in part. "As I am sure you are very aware, your UHC insurance covers you out of the country for urgent/emergency situations only. So, for a third time he is admitting liability for an Urgent or Emergency procedure will be covered by them.

The hospital notified me on the 10th of March that I would be OK for discharge on the 13th of March BUT they had to have a letter of guarantee from UHC or I had to pay my bill in FULL before I could leave.

As I said earlier, in Thailand the hospital does NOT let you out until your bill is paid. I was now a PRISONER in the hospital with a uniformed and armed guard at my door who followed me every place I went.

Now, instead of resting and healing I was every night on the internet sending long and detailed letters, such as this one to that Universal Health Care and Dr. Edward Lowenstein and now my attorney trying to get them to send that letter of guarantee for me.

I was supposed to be laying flat in bed with my leg elevated to keep the pressure off of it yet I am spending 2 hours plus at a computer with my foot on the floor, my leg and foot swelling severely because of it, the hospital is now CHARGING me every day for my room and medications, the mechanical therapy where they were bending my leg to get movement back into it was stopped as no one was paying for it.

Myself and my wife, my family and friends are going through absolute hell, a very severe mental strain, suffering and physical suffering that again threatened my physical health all because Dr. Lowenstein with the full legal backing of Universal Health cares legal department failed to do his responsibility and send the hospital the letter of guarantee they requested to guarantee payment of this legitimate bill, which again is an 80% DISCOUNT on American rates and a huge savings to them.

What is up here? Why would they want to allow their company to pay 80% MORE in the U.S. than jump at the savings they just made by having me where I was with total care..

Obvious, they don't intend to pay no matter what I was to do.

The hospital put me in a hospital car and took me to my bank where I had to get my lousy $750 social security check and give it to them on my account. They were after my wife every day to come up with money to pay on my bill and she lost so much face over this she could not even come back to visit me as by now everyone in the hospital knew I had this problem with my insurance company, was not paying my bill and a uniformed guard right behind me every place I went.

They were after her to pawn her gold and jewelry to get money for me. I was threatened with arrest by Thai Police as a foreigner who came for medical treatment and had no means to pay for it, thereby defrauding the hospital. They actually called the Thai Police who came to my room and took a report of what was going on and why was I not paying my bill.

If they arrest me, I would be literally put in a really nasty cage with from 50 to 70 real hard core Asian criminals with NO access to medical care and a concrete floor to sleep on. I STILL need 6 more weeks of IV antibiotic treatment to get the rest of the remaining bacteria out of my system and I would NOT get this care in a Thai Jail meaning my leg would start to rot again, and I would loose it or my life! I had these horrible thoughts every minute of every day because I did not know when the Thai police might come to take me away. I was truly living in terror every waking moment.

All this was sent to Dr.Edward Lowenstein and the highest officials at Universal Health Care, ??Hassle free health care on their card,?? who only said he was sorry but he could do nothing about it. I have now been out of the country to long!

They KNEW I was out of the country and how long, I never hid anything. They authorized a potentially life threatening operation and procedure to start on me in November KNOWING I was out of the country, and being a doctor HAD to know the consequences of this not being finished as it was a temporary medical condition they put me in, no knee, it had been removed from my leg, a TEMPORARY cement spacer put in place of it to keep the bones from rubbing together that HAD to be removed in a few months or itself become a source of infection a full fiberglass leg cast you can see in the pictures I will include with this but then when I have been put in the throws of an URGENT medical procedure,

The hospital DID call the Thai Police who came to my room to take a report and after seeing my documentation realized it was not my fault and gave me some short time to come up with the money or a letter of guarantee from the insurance company.. If I could not do this, they would have to come back and take me to their Thai Jail and as you can probably imagine, this is NOT your American jail where you have some rights, but a real hell hole.

You talk about being terrorized and in a severe state of mental and physical unrest and anguish and suffering? I did not know from one moment to the next weather I was going to be taken out of my room, tossed in a police van with bandages around my knee, IV??s hastily removed and tossed into a cage and I mean a REAL cage with 50 to 70 real hard core Asian criminal types, me an American whom no one seems to like in some of these areas. THIS is the situation MY insurance company, Universal Health Care and Dr. Lowenstein in particular has put me in.

Universal Health Care took my money for my premiums every month knowing where I was at, I always phoned them to keep them up to date with where I was at even to make sure I was covered! And in my hour of need, they treat me like I am some sort of criminal and will allow me to DIE in a most HORRIBLE way and say?.??sorry, there is nothing we can do??? The hospital INSISTED we do something to pay on my bill now as I was to be released on the 13th of March and if we did not pay our bill IN FULL, I WOULD be taken directly from my bed to a Thai Jail!

Mr. Ruehle, who is 69 years old, was originally admitted to this hospital in Thailand, AEK Udon International in November, 2008, on an emergency basis for treatment of a massive infection, which required revision of a knee prosthesis, debridement, insertion of a temporary cement spacer to keep the bones from touching, intravenous antibiotics for 6 weeks to make sure his system is clear prior to re-implantation, and application of a full leg fiberglass cast to prevent any movement of his leg during antibiotic treatment; and thereafter, re-implantation of a new prosthesis.

Ultimately, after the first half of the procedure was performed, UHC took the position that the re-implantation of the new prosthesis constituted elective surgery and would not authorize it to be done in Thailand . This position ignored that fact that the full leg fiberglass cast prevented Mr. Ruehle from boarding any commercial airliner, that the altitude would increase swelling, that the antibiotic was a procedure that from start to finish took approximately four hours each day, that Mr. Ruehle was through this time (and still is) in extreme pain and discomfort, that his leg was missing bones and he was to be transported as little as possible, that long distance travel to the U.S. constituted a major health risk that no responsible medical provider would authorize, and that the re-implantation was simply the second half of the original procedure.

Following the initial surgery and while still on out-patient care, Mr. Ruehle??s condition worsened as his infection became more serious which presented with severe diarrhea, and required immediate hospital readmission. UHC was contacted about the situation at the time, and issued Authorization Number U02250952, with a starting date of 2/16/09, with no closing date, and the implantation was verbally authorized over the phone by Stacy phone number 866-690-4842. The hospital went ahead and treated the diarrhea symptoms for 9 days, which was part and parcel of the acute infection, and got Mr. Ruehle clean enough to proceed with the implantation and did so. However, UHC's Medical Director, Dr. Loenstein, apparently later took the position that the authorization was just for the treatment for the diarrhea.

Then both he and his secretary Diane Crane say UHC will be liable for the diarrhea but not the knee replacement which HAD to be done to cure the diarrhea! So if he is admitting liability for the diarrhea, he must also admit liability for the knee replacement which was necessary to cure the diarrhea.

After much negotiation with the hospital, we agreed that my wife could bring the title for her truck, a 2006 Isuzu to the hospital and they would allow us about $4,000 on it. The next day when she brought the title, they said they now wanted $5,500 to get me out. I was going crazy by this time, mentally exhausted, getting physically sick again not knowing what to do.

Now I am being CHARGED for every day I am in the prison hospital, charged for my room, my medicine and IV medication I desperately needed after a major surgery, any food I ate. Almost $100 per day was adding up against my bill that had to be paid in FULL before they would release me.

My wife went to a loan company who agreed to loan her that amount of money against our truck and when she came back with the paperwork, the hospital NOW wanted $8,000 to let me out! Their cunning way was to get what they actually could, THEN go after more when your last agreement was fulfilled. They were ruthless in their collection techniques, pay or go to a Thai Jail!!

My attorney sent letters to Dr. Lowenstein and Universal Health Care indicating that I could loose my leg or my life, the man who was completely unmoved by all this and actually had the full backing of Universal Health Cares Legal Staff. They do not even try to help me, their customer, Nooooo in my time of serious need from those I put my complete medical insurance trust in, treat me like some mangy cur to be tossed out the back door and sick their legal dogs on me to scare me away no matter WHAT the consequences to me or my family or those around me who will be so tragically affected by these their decision so save their companies bottom line a few more precious DOLLARS and human life and limb be damned..

Then the hospital then told my wife if she signed off the paperwork on her truck they would let her keep it to use and let me out and I could pay when I could. So she gives them the paperwork, and I would have 90 days to pay and get the truck back. I was dressed to leave,

THEN they say, sorry you must also pay IN FULL the balance of what I owe before I can leave. Now the hospital had our truck in their name until our bill was paid, they put a value of about $9,000 on a truck which is worth much more.

I really flipped out by this time, going into shakes, convolutions, got very sick so much so that they had to take me to the Emergency Room to treat me with medication to calm me down and stop me from shaking?. (For the SECOND time.) My wife was close to hysterics by this time too seeing me go through this because of Dr. Lowenstein and those heartless criminals that run Universal Health Care in St. Petersburg, Florida.

They made my wife show them our bank account which had about $1,500 in it I told my wife to keep for household expenses, food to eat, electric bill etc while I was stuck in the hospital. But they made her go to the bank and withdraw this money and give it to them on my account or they would have me tossed in jail thus leaving her with less than $100 to live on!

These are the real things that happen to families by the decisions of these insurance company conglomerates whose sole purpose of existence seems to be the bottom line, NOT the care of the patient as it should be. No, it is all about the multi-million dollar salaries the CEO??s and top brass of these companies get and their multi million dollar bonuses, all being sucked from us the needy consumer. If this is not a criminal enterprise, I do not know what is. This money should be going to US the consumer paying their outrageously high premiums for minimal care with huge deductibles.

I am SO sick and tired of seeing these CEO??s getting obscene salaries like William McGuire of United Health Care who got $324,000,000, that is MILLION dollars in one 5 year period. He pulled in $124.8 MILLION in 2005 alone and this does NOT include stock options and other benefits! Yet this same company will deny benefits to it??s subscribers to feed this criminal enterprise.

Or John Rowe of Aetna who pulled in 57.8 MILLION in a 5 year period.

And how about Cigna whose Edward Hanway took in 62.8 MILLION DOLLARS in a 5 year period.

NO ONE is worth this kind of money. This money should be going to take care of the health of those who paid for this insurance in the first place. These are PUBLIC businesses, not private and they are being turned into criminal enterprises giving outrageous and obscene profits to those in charge at a HUGE cost to the consumer giving as little service as possible. Health insurance should NOT be about the bottom line and maximum profits for the company and head honchos but maximum care and service for the customer.

If you don??t like it, take them to court?..with what? Why is NO ONE in our government doing something about this miscarriage of justice but just flapping their lips and running each others ideas down? I personally am tired of our law makers listening to and TAKING MONEY from the Health Care Lobbiest by the MILLIONS of dollars for their help keeping this incredible theft of resources going on.

We could easily have free health care for all if those criminal CEO??s at the top were drug down Wall Street in hand cuffs to the nearest court house and pick 6 people off the street on the way as their jurors and see what WE THE PEOPLE think of what is going on. WHY must we go without so support a few corrupt thieving individuals in splendor better than that of a corrupt King?

Their leaders should be led down Wall Street in hand cuffs to the nearest court and 6 people just picked off the street and see what THE PEOPLE think of what is going on. WHEN is something going to be done about this? WHY must we the consumer suffer like this at the hands of people like Dr. Edward Lowenstein whose sole job with Universal Health Care is to TURN DOWN as many claims as possible. NOT to help those of us who depend on them but to just dump them in legal mumbo jumbo and give them nothing but suffering and grief for their trust in Universal Health Care.

I ended up having a mental breakdown where they had to rush me to the Emergency Room for treatment and to get my shaking and convulsing under control. My doctor that did my operation and saw me in the ER as I was having my breakdown from mental stress and strain felt so sorry for what we were going through because of Universal Health Care that HE gave the hospital over $2,000 of HIS OWN money to put against my bill and signed a hospital paper that if I did not pay the balance he would be responsible for it.

I must say Dr. Pinij is a most wonderful person to help his patient like this. My wife also had to pawn all her jewelry, dvd machine wedding gifts, anything she could and everything in our house that she could to scrape up every dollar she could for these people to get me out and keep me from going to jail.

After a week of pure HELL not knowing if I was going to a Thai HELL HOLE of a jail or not I was finally released. The hospital says if the insurance company will just send them a letter of guarantee I can get my truck back and the cash I have already given to them and my wife can get back what she had to pawn, not to mention the most important thing to her, she would get her ??FACE?? back with her neighbors..

Now the hospital wants me to every MONTH give them $3,500 to pay against my truck until it is paid in full in 90 days. Then we can have it back. If I don??t do this, they will keep it. There is NO way I can do this on my $750 SS check so if this is not resolved with those people at Universal Health Care, I will loose my truck which is actually my wifes truck, my doctor will not get back the money he put up for me and HE will also be responsible for much of my bill.

I am now appealing UHC??s appalling decision through the CMC, Center for Medicare Services and hopefully justice will prevail and I will have returned to me what we have lost.

If you need to contact me for more, you have my e-mail address and my Thailand phone number. There is a 12 hour time difference but I leave my phone on all the time and will accept calls any time. To call Thailand, you must dial (00) to get out of the U.S. and into international dialing, (66) is the country code for Thailand, (86) is my area code and 883-5641 is my phone number. And my computer phone number is 727-827-8481 which if not on will take a message. Thank you so much for your time.

Gary M. Ruehle

[email protected]

Computer phone Number

727-827-8481


1 Comment

053df2c7, 2010-02-17, 11:32AM CST

This is one sided complaint. I used to work for Universal in the past. Mr. Ruehle had no claims since 2007 indicating that he was in fact living in Thailand that prohibits by law to continue as a Medicare beneficiary.

Also, Medicare insurance is for United States only and govt. Medicare does not cover any kind of coverage in Asia, Europe, Africa or in Australia. It appears that Mr. Ruhle is originally a Thai citizen and went back to his country to spend rest of his life over there.

Also, it is not believable that a hospital will put an armed guard and won't discharge a pt. What is the cost of hospital bed occupancy and the guard? I have been to Samitivej, Bumrangrad and Ramathibedi hospitals in Thailand and never heard of anything like this. For foreigners, they want an early deposit and Mr. Ruehle were not even asked for it as he is originally a Thai citizen.

Mr. Ruehle in fact owns a clinic that can be found in google with his ads and he may have kept himself confined in his own clinic!! Mr. Ruehle, you should be happy that some private companies offer services that Medicare even does not offer. This kind of propaganda for your own interest may jeopardize the services for others because private Medicare companies are not bound to provide foreign covergae. Its U.S, money and should be utilized within the U.S. Thank you

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