Acne, Pregnancy Among Disqualifying Conditions
By David S. Hilzenrath
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 19, 2009
A proposal to make preexisting health conditions irrelevant in the sale of insurance policies could help not just the seriously ill but also people who might consider themselves healthy, documents released Friday by a California-based advocacy group illustrate.
Health insurers have issued guidelines saying they could deny coverage to people suffering from such conditions as acne, hemorrhoids and bunions.
. . . Uninsurable conditions included pregnancy, and being an “expectant father” was grounds for “automatic rejection.” So was having received “therapy/counseling” within six months of the application. There was also this more general disqualifier: “currently experiencing/experienced within the last 12 months symptoms for which a physician has not been consulted.”
So, as an example, if you had a case of diarrhea in something just under the past year and failed to trot yourself off to the doc, pray you are not later diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
Average life expectancy is around 36.8 years according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, although improvements in treatments mean persons born in recent years may expect to live longer.
Improvements in treatments are not of much use if you can’t get treatment because, on the history taken by the doctor you finally went to, ‘ diarrhea during past twelve months’ has been checked off.
Bingo! Rejected for treatment. Policy canceled. No matter that you (or your employer) has been paying the premium for the past ten years. In this game, you can pay for 40 years and then get canceled when you finally hit the disease jackpot.
And yet the lobbyists tell us 70% of Americans are ‘satisfied’ with their health care plans.
The other 30% must be those who have been thrown out the door or have no health care with which to be ‘satisfied.’
Great system that, exactly like our destroyed economy, is overwhelmingly supported by those who massively profit from its continuation.
Side effects may include death, disability, losing your home, watching a child or partner die or family unit bankruptcy.
It’s in the small print. Don’t worry about it.