1 in 7 Health Insurance Policies Denied


The Wall Street Journal (10/13, Adamy) reports that according to a newly released congressional investigation, the four biggest health insurers in the US on average denied policies to one out of every seven applicants based on their prior medical history.
Bloomberg News (10/13, Armstrong, Nussbaum) reports, “WellPoint, Inc., Aetna, Inc., Humana, Inc. and UnitedHealth Group, Inc. denied health coverage to 49 percent more people over the past two years, citing pregnancy or plans for adoption among their reasons, a US report found.” The “insurers rejected 651,000 applicants from 2007 to 2009 for illnesses or conditions they had before applying for coverage, according to the report by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led by Representative Henry Waxman, a California Democrat.” The companies “turned down 257,100 people last year who sought to buy benefits on their own and not through employers, the House report said.”
CQ HealthBeat (10/13, Norman) notes, “The inquiry began prior to enactment of the new health care law earlier this year, and it was released as Democrats and the Obama administration in advance of the midterm elections try to capitalize on the new benefits in the law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152) in the face of lukewarm public acceptance. Provisions cracking down on insurance company practices are among the most popular pieces of the law, even among some Republicans.”