Miscommunication responsible for local woman turned away from doctors

Posted at 7:02 PM, Mar 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-12 00:31:27-05

One Central Texas woman says she couldn't get an appointment with her primary doctor after her health insurance changed. 

Emily Ardolf, from Waco, said after moving from Minnesota to Texas, she found a doctor at a local Providence clinic to help treat her heart condition. But after she got a new job in Waco, she had to switch health insurances.

"I thought I was being a responsible citizen, taking care of myself. It's an important thing with my conditions that I have that you have insurance. There's just no way around it," said Ardolf.

Ardolf double-checked the website for the company, Ambetter, to make sure her primary doctor at would accept the insurance. 

Ambetter's website showed her doctor was on the list, so she called to schedule an appointment. 

"When I called [the office], I was told that they don't take my plan and because I switched insurances, I'm a new patient with this plan," said Ardolf. "And [they said] as of 2016, all of Providence will no longer take it in their clinics, including their urgent cares."

She tried other clinics around town, but was told they wouldn't take the insurance. One clinic told her she would have to wait 4 months to see a doctor. Ardolf also looked in Temple, Belton and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, but didn't have any luck.

"If I can't go to the doctor, what am I supposed to do?" said Ardolf. "If something happens to me, I'm looking at medical bills that I can't even imagine what it's going to be even though I'm insured."

Without medication for her heart condition, she can pass out. Within the last month, she's had at least 6 episodes.

Ardolf made several calls to Ambetter and tried researching what her options were online, but she couldn't get any answers.

News Channel 25 reached out to the insurance company and the clinic. 

An official with Providence told News Channel 25 that their clinics are still working with Ambetter for 2016. They also said Ardolf was already an established patient and there was a miscommunication in the office, but they have resolved the issue.

Ardolf has since scheduled an appointment to see her primary physician.

"I just wanted to bring awareness because I can't be the only one who is experiencing this," said Ardolf.