Got bunions? No insurance for you
Reasons for denying coverage may surprise you
We knew that health insurance companies refuse to sell individual policies to people who've had cancer or hypertension. But acne or bunions -- or working in a first-responder job?
Insurance company documents obtained and made public by Consumer Watchdog indicate how far some insurers will go to limit individual coverage to only the healthiest people (and those with the safest jobs). A hangnail? You'll get coverage. Toenail fungus? Perhaps not.
This is news because health care reform intends to prohibit insurance companies from denying individual coverage to those with pre-existing conditions or setting the price beyond most people's grasp.
The insurance companies whose internal documents were disclosed either wouldn't comment or observed that the documents were several years old -- and declined to say whether they'd been updated, The Washington Post said.
Some examples: You could be denied coverage if you:
- Work as a police officer, firefighter, stunt person, test pilot, logger, rodeo performer, or migrant, utility or circus worker (the big tent could come falling down, or maybe an elephant could get loose).
- Are pregnant, are an expectant father or are going to adopt.
- Take common prescription drugs like Allegra, Advair and Lamisil, the toenail fungus drug.
- Have chronic tonsillitis, varicose veins, acne (Accutane-free for less than six or 12 momths), hemorrhoids, bunions, asthma, arthritis, ADD or silicone breast implants.
- Have gotten therapy or counseling within the last six months, or "currently experiencing/experienced within the last 12 months symptoms for which a physician has not been consulted."
About that last one, Michael Santo wrote at Huliq.com:
Based on the horror stories of people who have their coverage revoked when an insurance company finds some condition they neglected to tell them about, this could be taken to the extreme: "Sorry, Mr. Johnson, you forgot to tell us about that runny nose you had in March."
What do you think? Jeff Rosenberg at MNpublius offers this opinion:
Whatever ultimately happens with health care reform, we at least need to end this nonsense. Without health insurance, millions of Americans are unable to afford proper medical treatment. So how could it make any sense to deny access to insurance just because a prospective client has heartburn?
Published Sept. 21, 2009
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Nearly half of family caregivers spend more than $5,000 a year, plus caregiving affects their jobs and retirement plans.
- America's most counterfeited products
- Driver survey: Men irked by phone talkers, women by lane cutters
- 5 reasons to take the company buyout (and 5 not to)
- Tired of Fed-watching, saver? Check out these banks instead
- New software targets credit card thieves at gas pumps
- Thinking of holiday shopping? Do a reality check first
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'