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HEALTH PLANS: Blue Cross cancellation story rumbles on

With an election in less than 2 months, the state is finally wading into the Wellpoint BC cancellation mess. Blue Cross now faces a fine:

In the first sanction of its kind, California’s top HMO regulator fined Blue Cross on Thursday for illegally canceling a woman’s medical policy because she did not disclose corrective surgery she had 23 years earlier. The $200,000 fine might not be the last resulting from the state’s investigation of allegations that insurers dump sick policyholders to avoid paying claims, said Cindy Ehnes, director of the Department of Managed Health Care.

And Arnie has broken his silence:

“Californians — who make the right decision to have health insurance as security for themselves and their families — should not be afraid that if they use it, they will lose it because of confusing applications,” he said in a statement. “oh and please vote for me in 6 weeks” (OK he didnt say that last part)

Meanwhile, the east coast establishment has noticed—or at least Paul Krugman has—it’s the lead in his column today calling for single payer Medicare for all

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7 replies »

  1. I am working with Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan, advocating for quality, affordable healthcare for all Hoosiers. I am looking for stories of Hoosiers who have been denied care due to cost or lack of adequate insurance, or who have suffered severe financial hardship trying to pay for healthcare. Stories can be sent to stories@calleys.org or submitted to our Website http://www.hchp.info.

  2. So what is the solution?
    When you apply give them paperwork. Lots of paperwork.
    On the application write “see attached”. Tell them all you know about your health, your doctors, etc. So they will not be in the position to say: “had we known of this health history we would not have issued you the covearage”.

  3. I have been reading all these horror stories about BCBS, PacificCare, etc… So what is the solution? Does anybody know of an insurer out their that is reputable and stands behind their policy? I have BCBS and after reading these stories I don’t sleep well at night. Which ironically may send me to the hospital and force me to use my insurance … and we all know what that means!!! Yikes!!!! Any suggestions on a good insurer?

  4. Peter, you are absolutely correct. BCBS, United, MMO… you name the carrier… all are so unbelievably corrupt. I can tell you events that have happened in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and California that would make your head spin.
    Anthem cancelled agents appointments here for simply showing them how to save money by using individual policies. Anthem cancelled comissions here for the same thing. Anthem has rallied to prevent the consumers from knowing their rights and true options.
    Sadly, they have some great plans. Too bad they don’t want to show them to most people.

  5. Good point Barry. I think the execs at insurers use a completely different system when they need the services of their own company, that’s the only reason I can think of as to why they are so out of touch with the system. The U.S. system is the best in the world until you need to use it. My decision to dump BCBS keeps getting reconfirmed, I sleep just fine.

  6. In my case, the only effort Pacificare had to make to prove their “fraud” theory was incorrect was to contact the broker who sold me the policy. Instead, they accused me of fraud, cancelled my policy, and never even called me about their accusations. All they care about is their bottom line.

  7. I think it would be useful if Wellpoint and other large health insurers each picked 100 employees at random and have them complete health insurance applications. Then see how many were able to recount their lifelong medical history with 100% accuracy and completeness. If any omission is sufficient grounds for canceling a policy, the company should figuratively look in the mirror. It probably won’t like what it sees, and neither will anyone else.
    If there was willful misrepresentation, the burden should be on the insurer to prove it. How hard can it be to treat people the way you would like (and expect) to be treated if circumstances were reversed?

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