Health Insurer Targets Women With Breast Cancer For Denial Of Coverage

Our Atlanta lawyers constantly receive calls from consumers who have had their health insurance companies refuse to pay for necessary treatment or have had their insurance cancelled after they become sick. A recent report has reveled that WellPoint, the nation’s largest health insurer, has aggressively targeted women with breast cancer with the intent of canceling their health insurance policies.
Reuters news service cited federal investigators and regulators as a source of this information. According to the report, WellPoint has used a computer program to automatically trigger fraud investigations after the diagnosis of breast cancer, despite no evidence of wrongdoing.
The practice, called rescission, has been used for years to control costs and boost profits. In effect, the companies will accept premiums until the insured is projected to have costly medical bills, then search for a way to deny coverage. Congress has cited WellPoint , which has 33.7 million policyholders, as being one of the worst offenders.
The health reform bill is supposed to end such practices, but critics say it lacks enforcement or regulatory powers.
Studying the cases of three women, Reuters found that once the women were singled out the insurer then canceled their policies based on either erroneous or flimsy information.
In a separate investigation recently, Reuters showed how Assurant Health similarly targeted HIV-positive policyholders for cancellation. Courts ordered the company to pay millions of dollars in settlements.

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