Bryan Stow back in Bay Area after insurance coverage ends

June 12, 2013 6:34:21 PM PDT
Two years after he was savagely attacked at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, former South Bay paramedic Bryan Stow is now back home in Capitola in Santa Cruz County. But not by choice. His family says insurance will no longer pay for his specialized care in Bakersfield.

The Stow family is not saying why the insurance payments have been cut off. They do welcome him back home, however they say around-the-clock care is challenging for them. They also believe his condition has worsened.

A letter posted by the family on the Bryan Stow website says it has been a difficult transition. Caretakers have been hired to help him get up in the morning and to go to bed at night.

Sister Bonnie told ABC7 News that family members are taking rotating shifts to care for him. However, they believe he needs the special care for his brain injury that insurance has cut off.

The letter says, "Bryan has physically experienced a big setback. We do what we can at home, but he needs the five days a week that he grew accustomed to. We just don't know how to get that for him."

Reaction from his hometown of Capitola was sympathetic and supportive.

"Especially in a case like that, he should be covered, and there shouldn't be any questions," Capitola resident Julie Langholff said. "I don't understand why they, oh well, I understand why. It's their bottom line, but that's not fair."

"I know that there have been several fundraisers, and certainly they can't raise enough money to carry on that amount of care for him," Aptos resident Andre Neu said.

Without insurance, around-the-clock care can be expensive. Joel Panzer is in a similar situation with his wife, who has a progressive brain disease. He has been pricing care for the future when he cannot provide it himself.

"Assisted living facilities run from anywhere from six to nine thousand dollars a month," Panzer said. "The additional costs could double those when the patient can't do very much for themselves."

The affordable care act eliminates lifetime limits on insurance covering catastrophic care. However, the Stow family has not disclosed why Bryan's coverage was ended. Some think an exception should be made.

"Oh, most definitely I think exceptions should be made because it doesn't happen very often people get beaten that badly at baseball games," Pinole resident Jerred Oller said.

We also reached out to the Stow family attorney in Los Angeles, but our call has not yet been returned.


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