23 April 2010

Your nightmare is WellPoint's profit

This is the picture that keeps women awake at night:


And for 192,000 women every year, it's not just a bad dream.

But it's also what keeps the beancounters for the soulless monsters at WellPoint working overtime.
WellPoint Routinely Targets Breast Cancer Patients

The women paid their premiums on time. Before they fell ill, neither had any problems with their insurance. Initially, they believed their policies had been canceled by mistake.

They had no idea that WellPoint was using a computer algorithm that automatically targeted them and every other policyholder recently diagnosed with breast cancer. The software triggered an immediate fraud investigation, as the company searched for some pretext to drop their policies, according to government regulators and investigators.

...The investigation last year by the House Energy and Commerce Committee determined that WellPoint and two of the nation's other largest insurance companies -- UnitedHealth Group Inc and Assurant Health, part of Assurant Inc -- made at least $300 million by improperly rescinding more than 19,000 policyholders over one five-year period.

WellPoint itself profited by more than $128 million from the practice, and the committee suggested that the figure might be largely understated because the company refused to provide information about cancellations by several subsidiaries.
And people think that the government can't be trusted with health care?

Incompetent or not, by definition, any alternative is more trustworthy than a business that makes the calculated decision to stab loyal customers in the back after years of cashing their premium checks.

The anti-reformers moan, over and over again, how the majority of Americans are happy with their existing health coverage. While that clearly doesn't count the tens of millions of citizens lacking any coverage with which to be happy, it also overlooks the tens of thousands who will have their coverage canceled, but just don't know it yet. I don't know for certain that Yenny Hsu and Patricia Reilling counted themselves among the 70% who thought their coverage was good or excellent, but I know this: neither one thought her diagnosis would end with her collecting food stamps.
While recovering, Reilling started having trouble with her insurance. Her medication after the surgery cost $4,446 a month. But Anthem would only pay for 10 days and then no more, she recalled in an interview.

...In June 2009, she was informed that her insurance was being canceled -- just before she was about to undergo another reconstructive surgery, which she was forced to postpone. She has now gone 16 months without the necessary surgery.

As a result, she is severely disabled. The pain and discomfort often only allow her to be able to stand for 20 or 30 minutes a day, sometimes even less.
Contrary to what Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sarah Palin (R-North Batshittia) think, the Death Panels are already here. And they had 300,000,000+ reasons to pass their lethal judgment on any one of us.

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