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Woman Whose Health Insurance Was Cancelled by Blue Cross/WellPoint After She Got Sick Urges Congress to Protect Innocent Patients
Date:6/16/2009

l care, Blue Cross scoured Horton's medical record and retroactively cancelled her coverage. Blue Cross said it would have never sold her a policy if the company had known Horton had "polycystic ovaries," a condition not disclosed on her application. The rescission letter was the first time Horton had ever heard about this condition. Horton's doctor had suspected she had the condition, noted it in Horton's medical file, but never told Horton about it.

In a letter to chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) last year when the subcommittee began its rescission investigation, Consumer Watchdog urged lawmakers to bar such rescissions unless an insurance company could prove that the patient "intentionally misrepresented" her health condition as required under federal law. Under such an approach, Blue Cross could not cancel Horton's policy since she was not aware of the condition and therefore could not have lied about it on her application. Download Consumer Watchdog's letter to Waxman here: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org/resources/WaxmanRescissionLetter.pdf

The House subcommittee appears to be focused on barring rescission of innocent patients like Wittney Horton regardless of whether comprehensive national reform is enacted this year. The centerpiece of both the House and Senate reform proposals would require every American to show proof of owning an insurance policy or face tax penalties.

"If all Americans will have to prove they own insurance policies, the government must also make insurance companies stick to their promises. That means not letting insurers cancel coverage or dump sick patients into low benefit policies that effectively block access to the care patients need," said William Shernoff of the law firm Sherno
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SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
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