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Tom Kazansky
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Wellpoint dropping cancer patients?

http://consumerist.com/2010/04/repor...-patients.html

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Is it too late for WellPoint to get into the Worst Company In America competition? A new report says the insurance giant and its subsidiaries have been deliberately targeting policyholders recently diagnosed with breast cancer and going to great lengths to have their policies nullified.

According to Reuters, WellPoint, who cover 33.7 million Americans through its numerous subsidiaries, "used 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."

After being singled out by the computer, their policies were canceled "based on either erroneous or flimsy information."

WellPoint has been singled out before by Congress for being a major practicer of "recission," the process of weeding out policyholders after they've been diagnosed with a medical condition that could cost the insurer a significant amount of money.

In a statement to Reuters, WellPoint said that "various specified criteria trigger rescission investigations, including certain types of medical claims."
WellPoint swears, hand-on-heart, that it changed its rescission practices to ensure they are handled appropriately after a 2006 review.

To show just how much they care about the health of their policyholders, WellPoint even went so far as to add a doctor to the committee that makes decisions on recissions.

In recent months, another insurance company, Assurant was caught targeting and then dropping HIV-positive policyholders.

Of interest: Assurant lost out in the first round of Worst Company in America to Anthem Blue Cross Blue shield, which is a major subsidiary of WellPoint.
Sorry, why was health care reform a bad thing again? Socialism or something?
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:44 PM Tom Kazansky is offline  
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TheMorlock
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Don't need new legislation for prosecuting fraud. It's already a crime.
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:01 AM TheMorlock is offline  
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Coqui
 
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While I agree with Morlock that we shouldn't need new legislation, we do need it because no one else is jumping in.
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:03 AM Coqui is offline  
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Originally Posted by TheMorlock View Post
Don't need new legislation for prosecuting fraud. It's already a crime.

Agreed.
Same issue with immigration. If people would actually enforce the existing laws there'd be less of a problem.
However, instead we have leaders who shrug and pretend that the only solution is new legislation loaded with their interests.
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:31 AM Zangmonkey is offline  
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Originally Posted by Coqui View Post
While I agree with Morlock that we shouldn't need new legislation, we do need it because no one else is jumping in.

So elect leaders willing to enforce the laws.
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:32 AM Zangmonkey is offline  
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Tom Kazansky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMorlock View Post
Don't need new legislation for prosecuting fraud. It's already a crime.

See I've been seeing this kind of crap go on for years in the United States without any reaction from the government. Why isn't the government going after this more often? The whole point is the insurance companies keep finding justification for this kind of thing to make it "legal". One of the tennants of health insurance reform was to end this practice. I fail to see the negative.
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:48 AM Tom Kazansky is offline  
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Tom Kazansky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zangmonkey View Post
So elect leaders willing to enforce the laws.

If the insurance lobby is going to donate large sums of money to a number of congressional members than they're going to be hard-pressed to see any opposition to this practice, as they havn't for as long as I've been following American politics. The last time I remember any real action being taken against an insurance company fucking it's policy holders was the class action lawsuit after Katrina against State Farm (Trent Lott also sued).
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:52 AM Tom Kazansky is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Kazansky View Post
See I've been seeing this kind of crap go on for years in the United States without any reaction from the government. Why isn't the government going after this more often? The whole point is the insurance companies keep finding justification for this kind of thing to make it "legal". One of the tennants of health insurance reform was to end this practice. I fail to see the negative.

So the solution is to give that very same government even more control and authority over things they obviously don't care about fixing?

Not saying that health care reform in general is bad but why suddenly so trusting of Uncle Sam?
Old 04-27-2010, 09:54 AM SemperFly is offline  
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So the solution is to give that very same government even more control and authority over things they obviously don't care about fixing?

Not saying that health care reform in general is bad but why suddenly so trusting of Uncle Sam?

Per Hayek:
Because all of their control and policies are failures because we just didn't give them enough control.
Certainly if we give them more control it will work next time!
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:57 AM Zangmonkey is offline  
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So elect leaders willing to enforce the laws.

Sadly it won't help. We've already become a corporatocracy for the most part
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:33 AM Coqui is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zangmonkey View Post
Agreed.
Same issue with immigration. If people would actually enforce the existing laws there'd be less of a problem.
However, instead we have leaders who shrug and pretend that the only solution is new legislation loaded with their interests.
Same with guns...killing another person (by any means) is already a crime, why attack an inanimate object? This is the same problem I have at work...every time something goes wrong the bigwigs want to have a huge meeting to draw up new regulations and procedures...HOW ABOUT JUST HAVING PEOPLE FOLLOW THE PROCEDURES THAT ARE ALREADY IN PLACE FOR JUST THAT REASON?
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:59 AM joemama is offline  
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Tom Kazansky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SemperFly View Post
So the solution is to give that very same government even more control and authority over things they obviously don't care about fixing?

Not saying that health care reform in general is bad but why suddenly so trusting of Uncle Sam?

A big portion of the recent health care reform bill dealt directly with insurance reform of the kind I'm referring to. I can trust the government to create a law of that kind because it was part of this bill. My question is, why did such a significant portion of the government and American population resist that, given what we already know about the behaviour of insurance companies when it comes time for policy holders to collect?
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:14 AM Tom Kazansky is offline  
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Tom Kazansky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zangmonkey View Post
Per Hayek:
Because all of their control and policies are failures because we just didn't give them enough control.
Certainly if we give them more control it will work next time!

You'd rather rely on the honesty of insurance companies, given their record of screwing policy holders? Obviously, as we see in this and other examples, that system isn't working.
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:15 AM Tom Kazansky is offline  
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Tom Kazansky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joemama View Post
Same with guns...killing another person (by any means) is already a crime, why attack an inanimate object? This is the same problem I have at work...every time something goes wrong the bigwigs want to have a huge meeting to draw up new regulations and procedures...HOW ABOUT JUST HAVING PEOPLE FOLLOW THE PROCEDURES THAT ARE ALREADY IN PLACE FOR JUST THAT REASON?

You've missed the point. Wellpoint was engineering sketchy reasons to drop PAYING clients who just so happened to be very recently diagnosed with a serious illness that would require them to collect on their policy. State Farm was sued, and lost, for the exact same kind of after Katrina hit the southern US. I'm quite frankly amazed that more Americans aren't pissed about getting hosed on their insurance policies.
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:18 AM Tom Kazansky is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joemama View Post
Same with guns...killing another person (by any means) is already a crime, why attack an inanimate object? This is the same problem I have at work...every time something goes wrong the bigwigs want to have a huge meeting to draw up new regulations and procedures...HOW ABOUT JUST HAVING PEOPLE FOLLOW THE PROCEDURES THAT ARE ALREADY IN PLACE FOR JUST THAT REASON?

Sometimes a change in policy is what's needed to get people to enforce it. It brings more attention to the issue.
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