Tuesday, October 27, 2009

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

So just days after reports about the four-month-old Colorado baby who was deemed "too fat" to be insured by Rocky Mountain Health Plans (click here to see that post, from October 12), we learn that United HealthCare declared a fellow Colorado toddler too thin to be insured.

In this case, the little girl, Aislin, age two, weighed in at 22 pounds. Although Aislin's doctors say she's perfectly healthy, and her small size is due to her genes and petite frame, United HealthCare determined that the child did not meet its height and weight standards. The insurer also noted that Aislin's parents had sought treatment for the child's finicky eating habits. (Warning to all parents: Picky eating is now a pre-existing condition.)

As happened with the "fat baby," once the insurance company's decision was exposed by the media, the insurer suddenly rescinded its denial. Hours after Aislin and her family appeared on the Today show, United HealthCare issued a statement saying, “As part of our standard appeals process, we undertook additional review of Aislin Bates’ medical records and determined, in fact, we can offer her health insurance coverage.”

TV programming devoted to exposing sinister health insurance company denials could make for a new reality series or, better yet, a 24-hour cable network. Sadly, the channel might never run out of material.

P.S. If you haven't already seen it, check out this Daily Show clip for Jon Stewart's humorous, yet biting, commentary about the allegedly overweight four-month-old. (Declares Stewart: "He's so fat he can't even walk!")

Photo of Aislin provided to the media by her family.

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