Man Diagnosed With ALS Fights Insurer To Get Bed He Needs

By Consumers for Quality Care, on June 12, 2018

Man Diagnosed With ALS Fights Insurer To Get Bed He Needs


A little more than a year after Nick Williams was diagnosed with ALS, he had to leave his job of 14 years as a high school wrestling coach. Williams coached his last season from the confines of a wheelchair, which he found himself needing just 3 months after his diagnosis. Since then, many every day activities have become a struggle for Williams, Oklahoma’s News 4 reports.

“It’s just another wrestling match. It’s every day,” Williams said. “You just, you just fight it, you know.”

Even going to sleep has become a challenge for Williams. Now, he must rely on his wife to get him in and out of bed.

“She has to pull me around. We use sheets to wrap around me, and she pulls me around to roll me around,” Williams said. “And, when I sleep about every hour, two hours, I have to be moved or my legs will just, it’s like almost a full cramp.”

William’s doctors prescribed a special bed with a lift, to assist him in getting in and out of bed more easily.  However, his insurance company, HealthChoice, denied the special equipment.

“I was just like how do you deny somebody something that was prescribed from a doctor, and it just kind of floored me,” Williams said.

After News 4 got involved, HealthChoice reversed its decision and approved the bed and lift.  However, Williams remains upset that the insurer needed outside pressure to do the right thing. For ALS patients, every day is precious.

“It’s ALS. It’s not a broke leg,” he said. “You know, so when they buy the time, when they buy my time, they’re really buying my time.”

Williams says he paid his premiums for 21 years.

“You shouldn’t have to push the process,” Williams said. “I mean, you got an insurance company doubting what the doctors are prescribing.”