Insurance Company Tells Armless Girl “Arms Aren’t Medically Necessary”

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(Tunica, MS) Madysen Acey has learned to do things without arms that most of us ever could.

”She can do a lot of things by herself without me. Of course, if I’m around she would much rather me do it for her,” said Madysen's mom, Bethanne.

Madysen lost her arms in a farm accident almost four years ago.

The entire town of Tunica rallied behind her as she underwent lots of doctors visits, lots of therapy, and lots of healing.

When she went to Dallas to see about new prosthetic arms, she filed an insurance claim.

The response from United Health came as a shock.

”It said, ‘You requested man-made arms, your claim is denied’ Boom just that, just that.”

Actually it said, "you requested man-made arms, yours were amputated, your claim is denied."

As if amputation was an option - doctors did it to save Madysen’s life.

And that’s not the biggest insult.

"We were actually told by an attorney representing the company in the lawsuit with Madysen that it wasn’t medically necessary for her to need arms, so I’ve heard worse.”

Bethanne Acey wants to know what 14-year-old doesn’t need arms?

She’s appalled at the insurance company and says she’s going to fight their decision until Madysen has new arms.

”I mean, we would like our God-made arms back, but since that’s not an option, we thought man-made was the next step.”

Because she just wants her daughter to grow up as normal as possible.


  • REW

    WREG – why don’t you ask Ms. Acey if she would be OK with your station putting together a petition for Madysen on I’ve seen great things happen for situations just like this with petitions that have been started on I’m sure a nationwide petition for prosthetic arms for Madysen would get the insurance company to change their tune. It’s shameful that the insurance company can get away with something like this. Just an idea.

  • Rob

    My son was denied by united health care as well. We were “in network” and followed their guidelines and were still denied. What was the procedure you ask? My son was born with a bi-lateral cleft lip and palate. The braces were considered a cosmetic procedure by united health care. Even though the dental surgeon sent several letters requesting the braces to ensure that his jaws grew straight. Still denied and we sent numerous requests all the way up to the state board of insurance. We have paid for the procedures out of pocket and still (by employer) have to pay for their crappy insurance!!!

    • Aha!

      Rob, we were lucky with our cleft palate/lip child’s insurance. BCBS paid for several surgeries. As far as braces, we took her to UT Dental School. $1100 bucks for several years of treatment.

  • angie dukes

    Wow!!!! That’s all I can really say!!! Being a mother of a child who was born with only one hand, I can truly say I know what your going through! My son received his first mechanical arm when he was 6 months old. Over the yrs he has received one every yr to keep up with the new technology. Until 3yrs ago we was informed that united health would no longer pay for them! He is now 16 and I admit, he’s never wore the arms more than just trying them one and showing it to someone! He plays baseball, football, basketball, soccer, and now rides bulls!! We used Snells in Memphis Tn and we loved them!!! Dr Jack and Dr RD is the best !! He is now on my husbands insurance and we are working back with Snells to get a new arm!!! Good luck and I stand behind y’all all the way!! Angie Dukes, Tillatoba Ms

    • Jennifer sharp

      To those of you with children with cleft lip and palete and other orthopedic conditions, shriners hospital for children is a great place to go for help with all these problems including the prostics. Please consider looking in to this hospital if you need help. The care is provided regardless of the ability to pay..

  • Jennifer

    I work in the prosthetic industry and the first thing I will say is that ANYBODY who has NOT lost a LIMB….Shut the hell up! I am NOT saying you’re not well versed in insurance…and I AGREE that people should definitely be educated about their insurance plans. The ISSUE here is that UHC has said her limbs are not medically necessary. INSTEAD of people jacking her or her family up about their insurance plan….how about you all get behind and support this girl….stop being so cynical and just IMAGINE…..just imagine you people lost BOTH of your arms! I’m SURE you would have a LOT to say!

    • Holley

      Thank you… took the words right out of my mouth. It is her arms! Both arms! Not a pinky finger or a toe. A comment like “Not medically needed”…is ridicules!

    • therealhateelvis

      Your company was the one I was speaking about having a great service. It is top notch but you have a lot to learn. She isn’t the first nor the last to get a letter stating it isn’t medically necessary. ITBK,, they aren’t medically necessary.

      I also noticed you didn’t put the new tax on medical appliances that the Obama regime will add to this device.

      Many places are laying off employees due to this new tax.

      Will you be next?

  • It's what I know

    Therealhateselvis, you are ignorant. You should like one of those Obama groupies. Did my taxes pay for your computer and WiFi? Everyone should support and stand behind this young girl. She has had to deal with things most of us don’t have a clue what it would be like. Hope they set up a Fund for her.

    • therealhateelvis

      Stop doing a selfie. I’m a 180 of what you posted for yourself. I follow the rules and expect the others to follow.

  • Peeps

    Just a note… If something is denied, don’t blame the insurance company. Blame the company you or your spouse works for, they are the ones that choose.

    • langor1

      Do you actually think that “we don’t cover prosthetics” is part of the plan description when owners and administrators choose insurance plans, I can certainly tell you it’s not. This is not the fault of her company, what kind of carrier denies a prosthetic for a limb?

      • nni112

        Lot’s of insurance companies deny prosthetics. We’ve dealt with it multiple times with multiple insurance companies. And we’ve dealt with it for prosthetic legs. The denial always states that a prosthetic leg is not medically necessary. We use IN NETWORK providers and it still gets denied. We’ve gone through the process of appealing the decision EVERY TIME we’ve made a claim. We’ve been lucky because the insurance has eventually paid each time, but it shouldn’t be so difficult to get a basic prosthetic leg in order to be able to walk.

  • It's what I know

    Obama would give her free birth control. What a joke for a wanna be leader of a once great country. So sad

    • Susan Kimball Hawkins

      None of these rules are new. They’ve been around for well over fifteen years. stop sniping, and just be positive here. A petition on, the referral of the other family with a teen with a prosthesis, pointing out to the mom that she may have better luck going with a local in-network doctor if that’s feasible (we don’t have all the facts, I’m sure), & whatever else you & others share is what will ultimately fix this problem.

  • Rob

    No. It won’t be fixed until the insurance companies lose enough lawsuits and are forced to cover the people that pay for their insurance. Also, the commissioner in Nashville will have to stop ignoring the pleas from desperate parents.

  • Observant citizen

    I’m no fan of insurance companies but Watch the above video before commenting. Uhc said they will cover them IN NETWORK.

    • therealhateselvis

      Bingo! That is why I first commented. You notice how the written transcript didn’t document that statement nor did it document the statement that CB slipped in near the end of the tape….The mother knew before hand that the insurance company wouldn’t pay.

  • Grow up

    Go with…. I have seen things and signed petitions to get medical medications for mothers dying with cancer and other great things to help people get resolve in their lives. The bickering is not helping this mother with what is going on with her daughter. If you can not give positive feedback, get off the site!!!!

    • Get Real

      Do you know anything about insurance policies? I’m sure you don’t…is that positive enough?. Now ago hug a tree and sing kumbaya. We didn’t run to the media and whine.. The mother brought this on her self. Got it?

      Don’t ever tell someone to get off the site because I’m positive you’ll get beoytch slapped. Positive enough for you?

  • Kay

    Jennifer is right ,wow, I cannot believe anyone would critique this mom
    I would want the best for my child or out of network and I would also take it to the news also, call me a whiner,wimp,whatever but when it comes to your kids,I would do anything to make them normal as possible.

  • Joe Bo

    You people are soo gullible, fox news and the t party say the sky is falling, and you dumb hicks run outside to try and catch the sky. Lol

  • Joe Bo

    If we not gonna follow the rules, then why should the insurance co. If we break some rules and not others, who desides which rules are ok to break, and by whom. Why not just stay in the nerwork, like you were told. Seems to me like there is a hidden agenda. If it was my kid, I would see that my child got the best available care within the network. Besides, just cus you choose to go out of the network, does not mean better service.

  • Lisa Crosland

    my son has neither arms nor legs and is not considered disabled by the State of Utah. He has had his assistance withdrawn because he found a job. just no help getting to work. its ridiculous. we need to help those who help them selves not kick them down when they take two steps forward.

  • Bertha

    These days, it sure seems that insurance companies will use just about any reason they can come up with not to pay for anything. Obama care was suppose to make things better. I just don’t see it.

  • Ruth

    mom if you want arms for your daughter, stay in-‘network and get the prosthetics. the reason insurance companies have in net work Dr’s is because they have contracts for their rates. if insurance companies did not have these contracts we would pay even more for insurance. Who can afford to pay more? Who wants to pay more? UHC has a large network of Dr’s and DME companies they work with. Yes insurance companies deny services all the time. A peer 2 peer often will get that. denial reversed. If you are not in network you will then be responsible for the expenses incurred. You will also pay more because you have no in net work contracts to cap the expense.

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