If you want to know why I despise every Republican Senator and Democratic Senators Ben Nelson, Evan Bayh, Blanche Lincoln, Max Baucus, “Independent (of morals)” Joe Lieberman and probably a bunch more whose names I am repressing, it’s because they enable and support and help entrench as the bedrock of our health care system, insurance companies. Here’s what these companies are like:
A Boulder County jury has ruled that a health insurance company must pay $37 million to a Lafayette woman whose health insurance policy was canceled after she was seriously injured in a car accident.
The insurance company had said she failed to disclose previous medical treatments, namely an emergency room visit for shortness of breath and treatment for uterine prolapse. The company refused to cover roughly $185,000 in medical bills from the accident and canceled the woman’s policy.
Latham, now 39, suffered multiple compound fractures and a brain injury when a suspect fleeing police rammed into her car in October 2005 near the intersection of 23rd Avenue and Collyer Street in Longmont.
Latham spent a month at Longmont United Hospital and another month at the Mapleton Center for Rehabilitation, Levy said.
Five months before, she bought an individual health insurance policy from Time Insurance Co. for herself and her two younger children. Her older children were covered under her ex-husband’s insurance through work.
Soon after she was released from the hospital, she received a letter from Time Insurance informing her the company had rescinded her policy and would not pay her expenses from the accident. The decision to cancel her policy also made it nearly impossible for her to get insurance from other companies, Levy said. She now receives Medicare benefits. (Erica Meltzer, Daily Camera [Boulder, CO], hat tip reader Gaythia)
Assurant/Time Insurance aren’t the only insurance company to do things like this. WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group and other big health insurers have canceled coverage of more than 20,000 people, avoiding $300 million in a 5 year period. As Mrs. R. is fond of saying, “How do these people sleep at night?”
The CEO of Assurant may not be sleeping so well in the future. Ms. Latham sued his company and her lawyer asked the jury to consider how they think an insurance company should act and to award her $7 million. The jury didn’t agree with her lawyer.
They awarded her $37 million.