Baby Saved From Brain Tumor After Insurance Company Refusing to Cover Surgery Changes Mind

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 30, 2014   |   4:58PM   |   Houston, TX

The pro-life movement warned that health care rationing incidents would increase with the adoption of Obamacare. As costs rise, these kinds of cases may occur more and more often.

Savannah Snodgrass’s tumor was diagnosed at three months and doctors began treating her but, when it came time for the final surgery, her parents insurance, Superior HealthPlan covered her specialist treatment at Texas Children’s Hospital but would not pay for the medical procedure. The insurance company said the hospital was out of its ‘network’ and referred them to another facility.

savannahSavannah’s family fought the decision, claiming the survival rate at the new hospital was much lower and Texas Children’s Hospital is a world-renowned facility. Now the insurance company is prepared to cover the procedure following media attention and an outcry online.

“We have tears of joy. We are so thrilled,” Savannah’s mother, Tessa Snodgrass, told “There is some risk for re-growth and continued epilepsy, but this is the best news we could hear.”

From the report:

Doctors at the renowned pediatric hospital told the family Tuesday the girl’s entire tumor was successfully removed during the six-hour surgery and that the growth was non-cancerous, according to Snodgrass.

The growth was first detected in March when Savannah, then 4 months old, began having seizures. The tumor was troubling to physicians because it was located on the left temporal lobe of Savannah’s brain and had grown in size.

“There is some risk for re-growth and continued epilepsy, but this is the best news we could hear,” said Snodgrass, who added that Savannah will likely need to undergo regular MRI tests until she is 20 years old.

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Following a report, the insurance company Superior HealthPlan reversed its decision not to pay the acclaimed Texas Children’s Hospital for the emergency surgery, claiming the doctors there were out-of-network providers. Savannah’s parents fought back, saying the same doctors had been treating the little girl for months, monitoring the tumor and preparing to remove it.

Snodgrass claims Superior HealthPlan had been covering Savannah’s care all along — including pre-approval for another MRI to be conducted on Monday. But the company initially refused to pay for Savannah’s brain surgery, stating in a June 27 letter that Texas Children’s Hospital is an out-of-network provider and referring her instead to a surgical facility in Austin, about an hour south of Georgetown.

Superior HealthPlan changed its decision, saying on the day of Savannah’s surgery that it will cover the operation at Texas Children’s “for continuity reasons.”