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.
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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