WOODLAND HILLS—Woodland Hills resident Tamara Alenikov and her sister are suing insurance provider Health Net of California Inc. for the wrongful death of their mother.
Their mother, Alicin Basley, a former civil engineer, died last fall in Santa Monica of colon cancer.
Alenikov and her sister, Washington, D.C. resident Natasha Basley, claim that Health Net cut off payments for their mother’s chemotherapy treatments, which caused their mother’s premature death.
The suit, which the sisters filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, May 18 alleges that Health Net is guilty of elder abuse and negligent infliction of emotional distress in addition to the wrongful death.
“They will always be haunted by the thought that their mother could have lived longer had Health Net not interrupted her cancer treatments,” the suit asserts.
According to the suit, in October 2012, Alicin Basley was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. A month later, she had a tumor surgically removed.
Almost a year later, in August 2013, Basley’s cancer progressed to stage 4. She started treatment at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.
In October 2013, Basley first received chemotherapy, and responded well to treatment. As of spring 2014, she showed signs of improvement.
During the summer of 2014, California’s Department of Health Care Services transferred Basley from her existing insurance plan to one provided by Health Net. The suit contends that, at this time, Health Net knew of her condition and that disruption of her treatment would jeopardize her health.
Despite understanding these risks, the suit says, Health Net immediately denied continued coverage of Basley’s chemotherapy. Heath Net purportedly found that the treatments were not medically necessary, and that Basley’s doctor was not in their provider network.
The plaintiffs and the doctor allegedly petitioned Health Net to reverse its denial, but did not have any success.
In September 2015, Basley was moved to hospice care. She died a month later.
As of May 19, Health Net representative Brad Keiffer said that the company had not been served with the lawsuit and could not comment on the matter.