Widow denied health insurance

CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 10/24/2018, 12:12 p.m.
After the tragic death of her husband, a Nebraska widow got hit by another loss. The health insurance she needed ...

By Mike McKnight

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- After the tragic death of her husband, a Nebraska widow got hit by another loss.

The health insurance she needed to carry on got cancelled.

Christine and Jimmy Blevins were married 40 years. Only smoke and fire could separate them.

"They rescued me off the top of the roof," Christine Blevins said.

Jimmy went downstairs to investigate the fire. He died of smoke inhalation.

"I was devastated," Christine said.

Though it hasn't been easy, Christine keep moving forward.

"I have blood pressure medicine, I have to have thyroid medicine. I have to go to the doctors and get all that checked," she explained.

Jimmy was a 40 year employee of CenturyLink with premiums withdrawn from his paycheck that also provided health coverage for Christine. Auto pay stopped with his death in April.

"I said, 'Well I have an insurance card here,' and they said, 'Well we never received payment so you were cancelled.' I said, 'Well here let me pay the bill.' Well, that wasn't an option," Christine recounted.

Six On Your Side contacted CenturyLink, which investigated the denial of her appeal. The company sent an email back saying Christine now has coverage for emergency or routine medical care.

The company statement read, "We're deeply saddened by the loss of a member of the CenturyLink family. We connected with our employee's spouse, helped her with proper paperwork and are pleased her coverage will be effective immediately."

Christine said Jimmy's spirit has never lapsed.

"He would say, 'Don't give up and keep living, and keep fighting,'" she said.

According to Christine, Jimmy refused to retire so that she would have health insurance.

After the fire, only a windmill remained on the couple's property near Oakland. Christine hopes the county fair will accept it as a tribute to Jimmy, known in the area as the "Telephone Man."