Monday, October 12, 2009

Make sure your baby isn't too fat to be insured


Incredibly enough, a health insurance company in Colorado denied coverage to a four-month-old baby because the child measures in the 99th percentile for weight. Born at 8-1/4 pounds, Alex Lange (left, in a photo provided to the media by his family) is now about 17 pounds and 25 inches long. Click here to read the story from The Denver Post.

Apparently, health insurance policies sold on the individual market routinely deny coverage to babes who top the 95th percentile. Chubby babies whose parents have access to insurance through an employer, or other group plan, cannot be denied coverage as those policies are typically not allowed to discriminate or make exclusions for preexisting conditions.

We've all heard that there's an obesity epidemic in the United States, even among children. That's one of the many reasons people need health insurance and medical care, especially preventive care. But the way our insurance and medical system works, those in need of care are precisely the ones for-profit insurers don't want to insure.

By the way, after all the bad press received due to denying insurance to (big) baby Alex, the insurer changed its "mind." (As if companies, not profit-seeking people, make corporate decisions.)
"If health care reform occurs, underwriting will go away. We do it because everybody else in the industry does it," said Dr. Doug Speedie, medical director at Rocky Mountain Health Plans, about the company's initial denial of insurance.

Sounds like underwriting needs to go away.

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P.S. The website MOMocrats just
posted an essay I wrote for them
about health insurance.
Click here to link there.


1 comment:

Sasha said...

This is unbelievable. Denying care to a baby! Before you know it, no one will be able to buy health insurance because they'll have a reason to deny everyone.

 

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