UCA students link cancer patients with insurance companies

A community service project that began with students wanting to help link uninsured cancer patients with insurance companies is setting its foundation for the future.

UCA business students, Nicole Daigle and Jordan Rosenbaum, along with the business organization, Student in Free Enterprise, have created a service that would help uninsured cancer patients learn about affordable insurance opportunities that would make them eligible for certain procedures ? procedures that may save their life and their dignity.

Daigle said, ?The project might help an uninsured woman who had lost her breast due to breast cancer. With knowledge about the right insurance coverage, a breast cancer survivor might have the full charge of an implant to replace the lost breast paid for through an insurance provider.?

Daigle and her team decided to focus on cancer patients because of their close contacts with medical professionals and insurance companies. She works for a cancer treatment center in Little Rock, which helps the team find contact information and information about insurance coverage.

The team chose to focus on cancer patients not only because of their acquaintances, but also for personal reasons. Daigle said, ?Not only me, but my teammates as well have all experienced someone in our family or a close friend having cancer.?

The team will help patients get toll-free numbers of insurance companies and they also will find Web sites where patients can find valuable information about each insurance provider. Daigle said, ?The development of the project is challenging but we are allocating the most with the limits set.?

The team?s main objective right now is to complete a brochure containing insurance companies contact information, allowable coverage and premium information. These brochures will be available in the waiting rooms of doctor?s offices. In the future, the team wants to promote their project on a Web page that will contain links to important information.

Daigle said, ?Right now the team is setting obtainable goals that will set the foundation so our project can advance in the future.? Another future goal is to have a booth set up at next year?s annual Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure in Little Rock. One of the ideas for this booth is for insurance companies to provide product information to people with cancer concerns.

The project began in early October, guided by the director of SIFE, Dr. Armand Picou. SIFE is a nonprofit organization that gives students the tools to learn the free enterprise system in a real working situation.

Students involved in this organization take their classroom knowledge and apply it to the community. Each year, SIFE teams across the nation implement a community service project that demonstrates free enterprise and then present their projects, in 30-minute presentations, to business leaders in a competitive format. The students compete for cash awards and job offers.

This competition lets the students demonstrate their knowledge of free enterprise, market economics and business principles. The competition also gives them a chance to network with corporate businesses. Daigle said, ?This competition will give our group a wonderful opportunity to network with some the United States top business CEO?s.?

The project is still in its beginning stages, but through the help of different medical professionals and acquaintances the team?s development is progressing rapidly. Rosenbaum said, ?I know we can?t reach all patients, but we are finding out where to reach the most.?

-Anna Lacy