Fighting Your Hmo: A Firsthand Account

It took Bob Sumoski three years, but he finally got his Medicare HMO to pay for the latex gloves he needs for personal hygiene. Sumoski, a paraplegic who lives in Lancaster, Calif., did it though a special appeals program intended to help Medicare patients who feel they're not getting proper care from their HMOs. Unfortunately, many of the 5.5 million patients who rely on Medicare HMOs will find the process complicated and time-consuming. "It can get very frustrating," says Sumoski, 58.

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