Alec Baldwin Instagram post spurs Anthem BCBS to cover Virginia teacher's spine surgery

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield said it would cover most of the cost of a Virginia music teacher's spine surgery and treatment following an Instagram post from actor Alec Baldwin, the Augusta Free Press reported July 6. 

Ryan Featherer is the orchestral director at Maury High School in Norfolk, Va. He suffers from multiple sclerosis and needed a spinal cord stimulator to relieve his pain and continue teaching.

The stimulator device from Medtronic was deemed medically unnecessary, and out-of-pocket costs for the surgery were $50,000, so a GoFundMe page and local fundraising campaign were launched.

A mother of one of Mr. Featherer's former students contacted Mr. Baldwin, who hosts the New York Philharmonic's radio broadcasts.

Mr. Baldwin posted on Instagram June 9 to highlight the situation and fundraising efforts.

On June 20, Anthem told Mr. Featherer it would cover most of the cost of surgery and the Medtronic implant, according to the GoFundMe page. There are still some out-of-pocket costs, but the fundraiser has received over $25,000 as of July 7. The surgery is now scheduled for later this month.

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