Saturday, February 23, 2008

Damned Lawyers

Health Net used to pay bonuses based on the number of policy holders who were cancelled. LATimes (02.23.08):
"One of California's largest for-profit insurers stopped a controversial practice of canceling sick policyholders Friday after a judge ordered Health Net Inc. to pay more than $9 million to a breast cancer patient it dropped in the middle of chemotherapy.

The ruling by a private arbitration judge was the first of its kind and the most powerful rebuke to the state's major insurers whose cancellation practices are under fire from the courts, state regulators and elected officials.

Health Net ordered to pay $9 million after canceling cancer patient's policy

"Calling Woodland Hills-based Health Net's actions 'egregious,' Judge Sam Cianchetti, a retired Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, ruled that the company broke state laws and acted in bad faith."

Health Net cancelled Patsy Bates' policy back in January 2004, right in the middle of her treatment. She "was stuck with more than $129,000 in medical bills and was forced to stop chemotherapy for several months until she found a charity to pay for it."

Health Net's CEO "ordered an immediate halt to cancellations and told The Times that the company would be changing its coverage applications and retraining its sales force."

"'I felt bad about what happened to her,' he said. 'I feel bad about the whole situation.'"

There are three other cancellation lawsuits pending, and a class action suit on the way.

Just damn those lawyers.

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Blogger Jeffrey Dach MD said...

The 800 Pound Gorilla in the Health Insurance Industry

A simple solution to end this health insurance abuse is have the states regulate the health insurance industry just like a public utility is regulated. This will rein in the obscene profits made by the insurance industry taking advantage of the vulnerability of sick Americans.

How does one deal with an eight hundred pound Gorilla that misbehaves and denies coverage for your medical bills?

Patsy Bates found out when a California court awarded her 9 million dollars for damages.

Her insurance carrier, Health Net cancelled coverage just when she needed breast cancer treatment.

Her lawyer, William Shernoff, not only read the book, he wrote the book: "Fight Back and Win: How to Get HMOs and Health Insurance to Pay Up".

Bravo for LA City Attorney Delgadillo and New York City Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for going after the health insurance industry for fraudulent practices such as cancellation for pre-existing conditions and underpayment for out-of-network doctor bills.

To read more:
Making Your Health Insurance Company Pay Up by Jeffrey Dach MD

Jeffrey Dach MD

my web site

8:22 AM  

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