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Missouri

July 18, 2007

Company Refuses to Pay Doctor’s Bill for Homeschooler

After taking their 19-year-old daughter to the doctor, the Rollers’ insurance company refused to pay the bill. They claimed she was no longer a dependent, even though she was being homeschooled and had not finished her high school program.

The Rollers called Home School Legal Defense Association for help. HSLDA attorney Scott A. Woodruff wrote a letter to United Health Care explaining that the daughter was enrolled full time in a lawful homeschool program. In most cases, a simple letter like this is enough to persuade private companies or government agencies that benefits should not be denied just because a student is being homeschooled.

United Health Care, however, responded by reasserting its denial of payment, claiming the daughter was not “registered” as a student. Responding to this challenge, attorney Woodruff advised the Rollers to file a “declaration of enrollment” with the Cass County Recorder of Deeds.

After filing the declaration, the Rollers sent it to United Health Care and asked them to pay the doctor’s bill. United Health Care stubbornly refused once again. It appeared that litigation might be necessary to compel them to fulfill their contractual obligations.

Woodruff prepared a warning letter to the company. Woodruff’s assistant, Peter LaRock, made numerous phone calls to company personnel to ascertain who the proper person would be to receive such a warning.

LaRock’s phone calls got someone’s attention. Before Woodruff’s warning letter could be mailed, United Health Care announced it would pay the doctor’s bill. The Rollers have had no further problems with the company since then.