Filed under: Politics
I’ve been debating writing this all day.Â It would be far more fun to talk about how cool Karin’s yarn is starting to look in my new project. And I do try not to go on and on on such things.
But I think this is compelling, and I think it’s terribly important. I read this article today, thanks to Lene: about the executives at the nation’s major health insurers admitting Tuesday before incredulous members of Congress of both parties that yes, it is true: there is a list of about 1,000 expensive medical conditions which, if you have, and if you have private coverage (ie, you’re not protected by the laws governing HMOs about pre-existing conditions) they will scour your medical records as far back as 20 years looking for a reason to drop you. Something, anything, you didn’t disclose on your application.Â And they will find one.Â Some have whole departments set up for this and give bonuses and positive performance reviews to their employees who drop expensive patients.
One person’s doctor had once noted that he had gallstones but didn’t mention it to his patient. When the guy later found out he had cancer, his insurer canceled him for fraud for not disclosing what he didn’t know.
This was not an isolated case; this is simply how they conduct their business and they freely said so. They told the congressmen that it had saved them $300 million over five years.
I recommend that these lovely individuals put a Bob Marley cd on and go read Charles Dickens: “Business? Business! MANKIND was my business!”
Note that in California the insurance commissioner proposed fining one of the Blue Cross companies $12.6 million. And then did not do so.
There is a case underway, finally, in which the insurance company did not notify a couple they were considering them for rescission during the period during which the wife could have switched their insurance to her employer’s; then, after her husband was in a car accident, which, as I read the article, the company apparently knew about, they continued to collect premiums from them.
Until the husband submitted medical bills that were more than that monthly payment.Â And then they dropped the couple and refused to pay a dime.
All three executives said they would continue their policy of rescission regardless of whether the insured had knowingly lied in filling out the application or not. They said it keeps their costs down.
You got a problem with that?
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