Health Insurance Denial Evidence Of Needed Reform

October 21, 2010

On the one hand, I am never surprised by statistics such as this where a business is doing all it can to profit from the goods it sells. On the other hand, when it comes to the life’s basic needs–in this instance Health–I like to see some sort of regulation.

The key findings, according to the panel: · From 2007 through 2009, the four largest for-profit health insurance companies – Aetna, Humana, UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint – refused to issue health insurance coverage to more than 651,000 people based on their prior medical history.

On average, the four companies denied coverage to one out of every seven applicants based on a pre-existing condition; · Over the same period, the number of people denied coverage by the four increased 49 percent from 172,400 to 257,100 while applications only grew 16 percent;· The four insurers refused to pay 212,800 claims for medical treatment due to pre-existing conditions during the 2007-2009 time period;·  

Each company had business plans that relied on using pre-existing conditions to limit the amount of money paid for medical claims. Internal corporate documents show that insurance company executives were considering practices such as tighter underwriting guidelines, lengthening the look-back period, assessing separate deductibles specifically for identified pre-existing conditions, denying payments for prescription drugs related to pre-existing conditions, linking additional claims to pre-existing conditions exclusions, and narrowing the definition of prior creditable insurance coverage.

via Healthcare Wednesday – The Hills Healthwatch.

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