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Most States Fail to Protect Consumers Against Insurance Company Abuses
Date:6/12/2008

nd the District of Columbia, insurers are allowed to deny

legitimate claims of policyholders who are up-to-date with their premium

payments by digging back years into their medical history and alleging

that they failed to disclose, or should have known about, a pre-existing

condition.

-- In 45 states and the District of Columbia, insurers do not have to spend

at least 75 percent of premium revenues on health care, which allows

insurers to retain those revenues for profits and non-health care

expenses (such as marketing).

-- In 20 states and the District of Columbia, insurers can set and raise

premiums without meaningful oversight.

"The individual health insurance market is still the wild, wild west for America's health care consumers," said Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA. "It is a market with many abuses and with far too few state-level consumer protections."

"There are two important lessons to be learned from this survey," said Pollack. "First, the individual health insurance market has many more abuses than the group coverage market. Second, the federal government should establish some meaningful protections that would apply nationwide and that would curb the most common and harmful abuses by insurance companies."

"I have zero tolerance for health insurance abuses," Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said today. "Working closely with healthcare advocates, I strongly and successfully advocated a complete ban against abusive insurance rescissions -- returning health care decisions to patient and doctor, where they belong, away from insurers and bureaucrats.

"States must form a unified front to hold insurers accountable, so they keep their promises of coverage," Blumenthal said. "My office has fought for thousands of Connecticut citizens over recent years -- patients unfairly and unconscionably denied cov
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SOURCE Families USA
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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