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GroupThink as PubMed/medical tourism/insurance

So this is both vaguebooking and probably one of those scenarios where little is to be done, but I hate seeing people feel helpless, so if you know about health insurance policies and/or medical tourism to Canada, here goes:

The father of a guy I’m seeing is seriously ill. He had a brain tumor in the 80s, a stroke a few years ago, but has in recent months taken a serious turn for the worse, to the point of not being lucid. In addition, they recently discovered his brain scans showed signs of hemorrhaging (in the past, I assume, as he’s not dead/immediately dying). He and his wife live in Montana, are poor(-ish), and are not the most resourceful people when it comes to researching options, etc.

It seems the healthcare available in Montana that is covered by BlueShield/Cross Montana is...not good. It’s become clear they’ve contaminated some of his tests and didn’t realize they’d done it, even after the results of the tests did not match his symptoms. They also seem to have missed the fact that his brain has been bleeding over several MRIs, which doesn’t exactly inspire trust.


So they drove to Seattle and located what seems like a much more competent doctor and hospital. They came up with a plan for tests and next steps...and then BlueCross told them it would take months for them to evaluate whether to cover the tests, if they would at all. This is because they’re out of state, and BlueCross apparently only covers in-network and in-state care. They will definitely need an MRI, probably a spinal tap of some sort, and then goodness knows what to actually treat him once they figure out what is going on.

So now they’re back to shitty medical care, and I’m trying to research any and all options for them. The father is on disability, but because of his preexisting conditions and their limited funds, I assume finding better insurance from the private market would be hard. They might be able to scrounge up some funds from relatives, but not enough to cover Seattle, where an MRI alone costs $4,500.

So...any ideas on how to get him on a better insurance plan, how to wrangle BlueCross into approving the treatment out of state, and/or medical tourism to Canada? (I doubt he can fly in his current state, but driving is fine. Hence Alberta/BC being feasible options.)

As said, I know it’s a long shot, but I’d appreciate any leads, informative anecdotes, etc.!

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