Posts Tagged - ‘rescission’

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Facts About Health Insurance Rescission

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

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One of the worst things that can happen to a person affordable health insurance-wise is having their policy rescinded. In many cases, they are kicked off their plan through no fault of their own.

The good news is that reform will both prevent the practice of unfair rescission and make it easier to gain justice.

The facts about the new regulatory climate:

  • Insurance companies now have little legal justification for dropping people: they will only be allowed to do so due to nonpayment or fraud.
  • The definition of fraud is also clarified. It consists of actively lying about any pre-existing medical conditions or diagnoses you may know have. Having a condition you don’t know about (even if it’s in your medical records, but a doctor hasn’t informed you of it) doesn’t count.
  • For consumers, the appeals process is also strengthened. Health insurance companies must give them at least 30 days advanced notice before canceling a policy.
  • The new rules take effect in late September.

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WellPoint Gets More Scrutiny On Health Insurance Plans

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

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WellPoint is one of the most successful health insurance companies in America. It has also been embroiled in controversy, including extreme rate increases and allegedly rescinding policies of customers diagnosed with breast cancer.

CEO Angela Braly had to continue facing the music at the annual shareholders’ meeting. The bad timing of her company’s announcement of the 9-32% premium jumps in California (later withdrawn due to newly discovered filing errors) contributed to the passage of affordable health insurance reform. That law will clearly have an impact on their future dividends.

Braly continued to blame rising premiums on the generally higher cost of care, and recently wrote a letter to the Obama administration, criticizing them for vilifying the industry. WellPoint’s stock has slipped significantly since late April. Meanwhile, there were nearly 100 protesters outside.

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What Are Health Insurance Companies Doing Ahead Of Time?

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

(Image: mao_lini under CC 3.0)

Healthcare reform has created many new restrictions and limitations for health insurance companies. Some will become effective in a few months, while others won’t be fully intact until 2014.

You’d expect them to hold off on complying as long as possible, in order to squeeze as much profit out as they can, right? Surprisingly, that isn’t the case. Some major insurers are actually adopting the new regulations early!

Rescission–revoking a person’s health insurance plan after they contract a serious illness–will be a thing of the past in several weeks. The law doesn’t ban that practice until the end of September, but it has received extremely negative publicity. Representatives for the insurance companies say that although they mostly opposed the legislation, their job is now to implement it as effectively as possible.

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WellPoint Stops Dropping Sick Patients from Health Insurance

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

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After pressure from the Obama administration, WellPoint has agreed to quit dropping policyholders from their health insurance plans once they get sick.

Although the law only bans rescission six months from now, recent controversies have resulted in some demanding action earlier. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius congratulated WellPoint on their quick action, and hopes that other companies follow suit in implementing affordable health insurance reform.

The new guidelines will become effective on May 1st.

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Sebelius: WellPoint Must Stop Dropping Breast Cancer Patients

Monday, April 26th, 2010

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An update on an earlier story: the U.S. government has stepped into the controversy surrounding WellPoint, one of the nation’s top health insurance companies.

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, has demanded that the health insurer quit its practice of dropping policyholders shortly after they are diagnosed with breast cancer. An AP investigation found that their software had algorithms that automatically flagged related diagnostic codes, unfairly targeting them for fraud investigations. Patients were then dropped with very little justification.

Affordable health insurance reform plans to phase out this practice, known as rescission. Sebelius considers WellPoint’s actions deplorable. In their defense, the insurer claims that they do not single out breast cancer; rather, they are searching for a variety of pre-existing conditions a person may have known of and lied about when purchasing coverage.

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