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Insurers to continue practice of canceling insurance for the sick

Insurers to continue practice of canceling insurance for the sick

You are one of the lucky ones. You have good health insurance and your premiums are paid on time. You enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that should you fall ill, your insurance company has your back. Think again.

Three of the nation’s largest insurers told legislators that they did not plan to discontinue the practice of canceling medical insurance for sick policyholders. At a time when the free market system is being touted as the answer to the nation’s health care woes, the practice of rescinding coverage on folks fighting for their lives does not bode well.

Robin Beaton, a 59 year-old former nurse had her coverage cancelled just three days before a scheduled double mastectomy for breast cancer

When faced with the costs of breast cancer treatments, the insurer combed Robin’s medical records until they found something they could use — she had a previous case of warts. That was enough to cancel her insurance, leaving her on her own to fight for her life, even though doctors stated that the warts were not pre-cancerous and were not at all related to her cancer.

Without insurance, the hospital demanded a $30,000 deposit for the surgery. It’s like they were “issuing my death,” she said. With nowhere else to turn, Ms. Beaton contacted Congressman Joe Barten and asked for his assistance. He went to bat for her and eventually her insurance was re-instated and she was able to have the life-saving surgery — but the delay caused her cancer to grow and caused unnecessary complications.

This is but one example of the frightening instability of the health care system as it stands today. Even those with coverage, who believe themselves to be outside the fray, are not as secure as they might think.

By insurers own admission, the practice of rescinding medical coverage will continue. Paying your premiums in good faith in times of health is no guarantee that you will get the medical care you need in times of sickness. Not a very comforting thought.

When it comes to matters of health, we often do not have the luxury of the time, and it takes time to fight the powers that be. Lives are at stake. 

As long as the insurers hold all the cards nothing will change. Health Care Reform will remain on our “to do” list. The free market system has no interest in insuring those with pre-existing condition or providing care to the sick

 

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25 comments

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10:26PM PDT on Jul 6, 2009

The only thing insurance companies wish to insure is that they will make unconscionable profits. By allowing them to "rig the game" by cancelling your insurance when you are ill, the United States government is guilty of collusion, the ill are being defrauded. The insurance companies are even admitting they plan to cancel your insurance if you become ill, in other words they are admitting to a premeditated fraudulent act.
For the United States government to continuously donate medicines, equiptment and services to citizens of other countries(or to provide them at greatly reduced costs) while turning a blind eye to the many in need of medical care in this country is inexcusable. Universal healthcare with a one payer system is long overdue.
While we are constantly barraged with stories of supposedly inadequate health services in countries that have universal health care I've heard that at one time Australia had an excellent plan which covered everyone and people were generally satisfied with it. Then it was changed to the "American Model" with which very few are content. If you have no insurance here and are ill you will be unable to afford care unless you have unlimited resources. Few do.
As a paitent who, through no fault of their own, has the misfortune of having a chronic illness which is quite expensive to treat I live in fear of losing my health benefits. Lack of treatment is a death sentence preceeded by a max of 6 unpleasant months.

1:23PM PDT on Jul 2, 2009

Unfortunately Care2's quick pole did not have the response I wanted to use, the "absolutely not and every board member of these health care providers should be lynched!" response. To anyone who believes my response is too violent all I can say is that these CRUEL, SELFESH, and #*%

11:56AM PDT on Jun 30, 2009

The only way we can actually do anything if we do not go to a single payer plan is to try the public option plan with the government carrying a plan similar to medicare which will not stop the coverage of an ill person. In addition, if the current players in the industry want to continue to play make them do so as non-profit agencies, forget the for profit schemes it doesn't work in health care to anyone's benefit except those with investment money. Single payer is the best way to go and they all know it but the politics of it now are such that it will never pass so the closest we will get is a public option.
In addition, something that is not mentioned is that Mental Health needs to receive Parity and not be treated as less than an actual illness and have reduced payments.

10:28AM PDT on Jun 30, 2009

The only way we will ever see reasonable health care is to cut the wages in office end all lobbiest donations, and take their health care away form them

10:27AM PDT on Jun 30, 2009

Forcing health care to cover people and or getting a goverment plan will never happen! Not because it is not posable or to expensive but because it is a political hot spot and if real reform or a goverment plan did happen the parties would loose that promis for or against to run on. Don't expect more than a bone

4:22AM PDT on Jun 30, 2009

Our strength is in our numbers, if your elected representatives fear that you will not reelect them in their bid to retain their positions they will miraculously decide to do what is right and vote for what their constituents feel are the important issues.Pressure your representatives to push for a single-payer system reminding them that it is YOU! the voter that keeps them in their position with their excellent healthcare benefits, if this sounds like extortion, or intimidation, well if that's what we have to do to get decent,affordable healthcare than so be it. Strength in numbers.

8:14AM PDT on Jun 29, 2009

As I understand it as the health care bill is developing it contains language that states that all Americans must purchase some sort of health care insurance. This is outrageous because as we all know insurance does not equal health care. We need a public health care plan independent of insurance companies. No one should be forced to purchase insurance. Everyone should have access to health care but it should not be done through mandated purchase of insurance. Auto insurance which is forced upon us does nothing to improve the safety of driving your car and health care insurance will do nothing to improve the quality and cost of the health care currently available. Please be aware of this important distinction between actual health care and and a public insurance plan option. If we all stand together we can change this. Insist on public health care and beware of mandated insurance purchase.

7:49AM PDT on Jun 29, 2009

Time to fire the health insurance companies. We need single-payer, not-for-profit health care for all NOW!

1. We spend more on health care than any nation on the planet. Yet the quality of care, in terms of the health results and overall satisfaction on the part of those who depend on it are very far from the top.

2. Because large corporattions, such as the multinational pharmaceutical companies, whose top priority is to maximize profits, have such a huge say determining standard of care, what research gets funded, how that research gets reported to practitioners and to the public, and even what laws get passed and enfored concerning health, the people the system is supposed to serve are in many ways dis-empowered. Even those well-meaning health care providers who do not like current policies have no voice under the current system.

3. The big health insurance companies add almost no value and yet take a huge portion of the profits out of the system.

4. Nearly 50 million Americans have no coverage under the current system, depite the enormous spending on it.

We need a government-run, single-payer system that is 100% divorced from profit motivation and completely insultated from market forces. Health care should no more be influenced by the motivations of investmentors and profits than should the air we breath. It is far too essential for everyone for it to be trusted to the marketplace that has run it so poorly, unjustly and greedily for so long.

7:44AM PDT on Jun 29, 2009

I find it sad& plain,ridiculous that they still do this kind of stuff an EU who know in England, who studied in the US & volunteer at non-profit dealing with denial of care ...patient must come first and not the bottomline.
look other like france, socialist autonomias (states) and tHe NHS of the UK.

2:21PM PDT on Jun 28, 2009

Thank you Ann!

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