Image: Oldmaison under CC 3.0
Over the past two years (ending in 2009), four major health insurers’ rates of denying coverage to individual health insurance plan applicants rose by 50%.
A report from the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee claims that WellPoint, Aetna, UnitedHealth, and Humana purposely refused to sell coverage to over 600,000 people with pre-existing conditions. Up to 425 health conditions could disqualify a person from coverage under one insurer, and some would not conduct further internal review before denying coverage.
On the one hand, the insurers may have seen the writing on the wall when President Obama was elected, and wanted to maximize their profits as much as possible before regulations would limit their ability to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions.