Insurer targeted HIV patients to drop coverage

Comments (80)
lightft wrote:

The worm turns… It would seem only right that anyone who served on the various committees to cancel anyone’s insurance based on a 3-minute review will be out of a job when the health reform bill passes. It would also seem appropriate that they be required to participate in the universal enrollment program, but NOT be allowed to place a claim for the following 5 years so they can experience first hand the anguish and financial hardship they foisted upon their former paying customers.

Mar 17, 2010 10:40am EDT  --  Report as abuse
roncee wrote:

“If a system can be created where coverage is available to everyone and all Americans are required to participate”…………

Insurance is a gamble Mr Hamm. Insurance companies do everything they can to improve their odds but sometimes they still roll snake eyes! More often than not they continue to pass, hence the profits. The idea of forcing anyone to participate in this game is abhorrent to the average working American and therein lies the fault with Obamacare. Of course you insurance people embrace it, you have a captive market.

Mar 17, 2010 10:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JoStar wrote:

“There’s No Profit In A Cure”

Mar 17, 2010 11:03am EDT  --  Report as abuse
The0Larch wrote:

Dr’s have allowed middle men to appropriate their talents and have been reduced to mere technicians unable to control treatment or cost. Insurance is supposed to be just that; a supplemental expense to offset risk and cost not a carefully orchestrated actuarial designed to profit under any circumstance. Apparently we already have “death panels” and we pay for them.

Mar 17, 2010 11:25am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ecogabriel1 wrote:

Requiring all U.S. inhabitants to participate is one necessary step.
But companies should not be given the free hand of shaping policy offerings whatever way they please; that gives them the advantage of misleading consumers whatever way they want. Credit cards, mortgages, and “financial engineering” Wall Street style are clear examples of how those who sell deceive those who buy to fleece them.

Better yet? Allow only non-profits to provide health insurance; that is what the Swiss and Germans did.

Mar 17, 2010 11:31am EDT  --  Report as abuse
SeaWa wrote:

It’s understandable how private insurance carriers must resort to these practices in order to compete, survive, and yes, even thrive. In our capitalistic economic system, that is ok and not immoral. The companies are behaving as they should. HOWEVER, this is the reason that our health and well-being should not be in the private insurance arena. This is why our health should be reformed. To anyone that thinks otherwise, consider the false sense of security that your current insurance provides. When you need it for major illness, if you need it, then they can pull the rug out from under you. Even after years of your premium payments. Just because they want. Having worked in insurance, I can tell you that they can run circles around anyone to minimize their risk. That’s why they hire so many attorneys, actuaries, and claims processing staff. Not to mention the billions spent on claims systems with the goal to maximize profits and minimize risk. Your well being is a risk to your insurance carrier profits.

Mar 17, 2010 11:37am EDT  --  Report as abuse
rser wrote:

Until we start criminally charging individuals within these insurance companies with felonies, they will simply continue this stuff, seeing civil lawsuits as a cost of doing business. When you cut off innocent people who then die, this should be considered murder.

Mar 17, 2010 11:59am EDT  --  Report as abuse
RDebbie wrote:

And this is why we need healthcare reform.

IMO the GOP just doesn’t care about people they only care about profit in their pockets.

Mar 17, 2010 12:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Mugged wrote:

Lock up the decision makers. Decisions like this are not made without the direction of senior management. Lock ‘em up.

Mar 17, 2010 12:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
karela11 wrote:

These are the practices so ardently protected by the Republican party—-and they yell at the top of their lungs that they are doing it in the name of freedom and to prevent “death panels”. Rescission committees ARE death panels. This young man is alive because one social worker made him the focus of her efforts and after great effort found charitable treatment for him. Most Americans who have this experience aren’t so lucky—-30,000 of us die every year because we don’t have health insurance. Also, note that if the Republican party had it’s way, this young man and others like him would not be able to get financial justice from companies like this because “tort reform” would make it legal for these companies to sin without risk of punishment. We need health reform voted into law right now!

Mar 17, 2010 12:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
WildTurkey wrote:

Evil people. Plain and simple.

Mar 17, 2010 12:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Peter6364 wrote:

How many more of these civil cases are needed before a criminal case is made? Mr. Hamm’s support perhaps is offered to defer an assignment as Berni Maddoff’s roommate.

Mar 17, 2010 12:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TimDaniels wrote:

Now wait a minute! I’m supposed to believe that a 17 year old, poor college freshman, living a highly risky lifestyle and facing the huge expense of four years of college went out and bought health insurance, just because he was sweet and responsible? Furthermore, I’m supposed to believe that, although he was diagnosed HIV positive that same year, he had no reason to suspect the possibility…maybe someone else’s diagnosis with whom he spent intimate time? Sounds VERY SUSPICIOUS to me.
My young daughter was diagnosed with cancer. I have carried health insurance since I was married, and when this issue came up, our insurer was very helpful, never balked, even payed for out-of-state, new technology.
Let the responsible live responsibly, and let the irresponsible learn from their example. Leave the free market alone. It produces far better outcomes than anything government-controlled could ever achieve–anecdotal poster children aside.

Mar 17, 2010 12:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jkharlin wrote:

“And this is why we need healthcare reform.

IMO the GOP just doesn’t care about people they only care about profit in their pockets” RDebbie

Do you really think the Dems are there on your behalf??? Guess again, its all about power and they will be able to say who gets what and when if they are allowed to get it. I was unaware until a friend showed me how the Fema/disaster funds were allocated…. and it was not by need….

Mar 17, 2010 12:26pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
shediac wrote:

I’m sure the supreme court will take care of this, right Mr. Roberts?

Mar 17, 2010 12:26pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
paleopoet wrote:

No way, this story is made up. Insurance companies are far to altruistic to ever cancel someone’s insurance because they got sick, especially a major illness. My Republicrat friends tell me that like the hypocratic oath for doctors, insurance CEO’s take a “hypocritic” oath to always put the concerns of subscriber/patients ahead of profits.

Mar 17, 2010 12:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ribbit wrote:

one need look no further than fortis (the health insurer) for an example of a functioning “death panel”.

Mar 17, 2010 12:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
wrote:

So what would the government death panel do in this situation? Use our tax dollars to fund people with non-curable diseases that could have avoided them? How much would his treatment cost per year?! That doesn’t sound too fair to me.

Mar 17, 2010 12:56pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
solarae wrote:

“Let the responsible live responsibly, and let the irresponsible learn from their example. Leave the free market alone. It produces far better outcomes than anything government-controlled could ever achieve–anecdotal poster children aside.”
In the case of health care, in order for your idea to work, we would have to, as a society agree to let people die in front of our eyes on a regular basis for lack of insurance. Ain’t gonna happen.
Face facts. We take care of the sick to some degree in this country whether they are responsible or not. We might as well do it in an organized, economical way.

Mar 17, 2010 12:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BrandonRoding wrote:

@Roncee

The term “Insurance”, by it’s very definition, is the antithesis of a gamble. It is the very hedge that we take against it. Supporting questionably ethical practices in the pursuit of profit is the habit of a bygone era.

@TimDaniels

Not only are you attempting to assign guilt entirely on circumstantial evidence (and a high degree of bias), but your point is irrelevant. Insurance protects the insured after the policy is purchased, provided the terms are adhered to. Same as above: Insurance is a hedge against risk – be it lifestyle or otherwise.

Were the policy to specifically exclude coverage for treatment related to risky behavior (or otherwise), only then would your comment regarding a hindrance on free market activity be relevant. In this case, I don’t know whether or not the policy did contain such language as it wasn’t covered in the article.

Opinion shouldn’t be used as the bridge between fact and fiction.

Mar 17, 2010 1:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
davidrusso wrote:

There is a very special place in HELL for those who seek profit from the ills of others. The entire concept of a “For Profit” approach to a basic human right is loathsome. If the USA can accomplish nothing else, its right to the claim of Land of Liberty can be sealed with a more compassionate and equitable health care system.

Mar 17, 2010 1:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
dedok wrote:

It behooves me why it has taken so long for the people in this great country to get wise to what has been going on with our “medical system” for decades. Having been a family physician for 45 years, I have seen the advent of major medical insurance companies and even Medicare. Medicare has worked beautifully, although we doctors thought it would destroy us all. Until we have universal health coverage for all, we will keep going through the same song and dance for the “profit people”. Money runs the government, our industries and even our healthcare. “Lobbyists Unite!”.God help us all.

Mar 17, 2010 1:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
DCX2 wrote:

“rescission committee”? You mean “death panel”

Mar 17, 2010 1:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Eyecare wrote:

This is just one case but unfortunately things like this happen all too often. It’s not often that consumers know enough to fight rescission let alone win judgements against big health insurers. Insurance companies will try to find the flimsiest excuses to not continue insuring people found to have potentially costly medical problems even if they have to resort to “tactics” like not sending their customer their monthly bill then defending their dropping coverage on the customer not paying his bill on time. People are mislead to believe that health insurance companies are there to help them in times of need when in fact the company’s main focus is on profit. We all want choices when it comes to health care but if our choice of health insurers decides to drop your coverage when you become ill then what options do you have? It is cost prohibitive to find a new insurer then and even if you did find one pre-existing medical conditions (and complications related to that condition) are typically excluded. While a mandatory national health coverage program is distasteful for many for numerous reasons at least it has the potential to eliminate problems like this.

Somewhat off-topic, but the more I see how our Congress works the more I think that the “28th Amendment” or a variation thereof makes sense. Congress should not write any law that doesn’t apply to equally to members of Congress. They should not receive additional benefits for being members of Congress that other Federals workers are not entitled too. After all, they too are supposed to be public servants.

Mar 17, 2010 1:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
DVM wrote:

I’m in the business and have written hundreds of individual policies. Sadly, I’ve seen just about every illness that exists. Never once, has any insurance carrier I placed the client with rescinded coverage due to diagnosis of a serious illness. In this particular situation, not only did Fortis have to reinstate his coverage and pay all back claims I assume, but they also paid him $10 million. Based on my experience in dealing with insurance carriers, most of them are way too smart to have done something this stupid. Their CEO sounds like a total buffoon. Also, in my experience HIV is not that expensive to treat compared to other chronic illnesses. This story has me scratching my head.

Mar 17, 2010 2:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
RJTindall wrote:

In Arizona the Republican controlled legistlature cut Please refer to last week’s email to review the details of the carnage, but here are a few lowlights once more:

–> KidsCare is entirely eliminated, kicking more than 42,000 kids off their health care. That makes Arizona the first state in the nation to permanently repeal our children’s healthcare program. If only we could be first in something positive…

–> All-Day Kindergarten is also eliminated, forcing struggling young families to quite their jobs, pay for childcare, or pay tuition at public schools so their kids get a better start on their education.

–> Public schools will be cut $832 million between now and June 2011 even if Jan Brewer’s May 18 sales tax passes. That cut will be $1.2 billion if the tax fails. Class sizes will soar to between 40 and 55 kids per teacher.

–> Voters will be asked to repeal First Things First, and to shift the funds generated by the cigarette tax from early childhood programs to the General Fund. We will also be asked to raid the Growing Smarter funds for the same legislature-controlled purpose. I do not believe that voters will choose to trust the Legislature instead of themselves to spend funds wisely.

–>Programs to fund transit (with a special hit to rural transit), GED education, State Parks, Tourism, the Arts, Gifted Education, Adult Education, Adult Literacy, and many more services vital to our future as a community and an economy were eliminated completely.

–> 340,000 people will be kicked off of healthcare due to Republican de-funding of Proposition 204, the voter-approved initiative that requires the state to fund AHCCCS healthcare for all those below the poverty line. This means that if you have a family of four, and your household income exceeds $7300 a year, you will no longer be eligible for healthcare.

Mar 17, 2010 2:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
qjkoshea wrote:

I also experienced the same treatment at the hands of another insurance company, even though in California the insurer can not deny coverage of a pre-existing condition such as HIV. It took $500.00 of my own money in lawyers fees to force the insurer to cover my claims. You see they did not drop me- they continued to accept payment for my policy they just denied any treatment for anything related to HIV! Today Health Insurance=Corporate Investment.

Mar 17, 2010 2:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
rebeltoady wrote:

Business structures are inherently immoral. People who are part of a business usually do not impose morality on them, rather the businesses impose a lack of morality on the people who work in them. The tobacco companies are instructive on this point. To the extent the law gives them free reign, this sort of thing will always be common place.

Mar 17, 2010 2:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
carolreuter wrote:

The more we should passthis new HC bill.The President is right all along!!These monstrous health insurances should place their mouth into their hearts and not in their pockets for another million,millions of Americans who can’t afford anything!!!
Mr.President thank you for your courage and guts for passing this important bill.

Mar 17, 2010 2:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
solarae wrote:

DVM, Who did you work for?

Mar 17, 2010 2:24pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Estella wrote:

Where have you been roneoe. This case
is exactly the kind President Obama is after. This is what happened to his mother. The insurance company cancelled
when she got cancer. She died of it, spending the last days of her life on the phone with the insurance company. One of the provisions in the Obama health care reform is that this type of thing on the part of the insurance companies would be
unlawful. Insurance companies do not embrace “Obamacare” as you call it.” Quite the contrary.

Mar 17, 2010 2:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Sacorp wrote:

Awesome, I am glad to see the courts did their job. That’s the way contracts are supposed to work in America.

Mar 17, 2010 2:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
light wrote:

Agree with above, 10 million is a nice slap on the wrist… and will be passed on to existing customers. Why no criminal charges?

Mar 17, 2010 2:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
osito3 wrote:

Congratulations to Mr. Mitchell.
I wish you good health in the future. HIV is not the death sentence it was 20 years ago. As for the insurance company, not only FORTUS, but all of them, F You!

Mar 17, 2010 2:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
NatalieDu wrote:

The problem has always been one of profit. Health insurance is a business, the goal is to make a profit. When a person becomes sick, it is profitable to drop them. Even if they have been paying for years. Usually, when this happens (and it happens alot) the person doesn’t sue. However, their healthcare bills will ruin their credit until the government starts picking up the tab… thats you and me people. Bottom line is that the insuance companies make all the profit from the healthy (people who just have routine doctor visits and colds, etc.) and let us pick up the tab for the truly chronically sick. Its time to change it. I think the only way to achieve it is through a national healthcare system. Its done (and works) in many, many countries. I have lived in Austria for many years and seen their version of nationalized medicine. Anyone who wants can still also have private coverage, if they want to pay for it. But the truth is that the national healthcare in Austria is very good, so most people don’t bother with private insurance.

Mar 17, 2010 3:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
solarae wrote:

“Business structures are inherently immoral”
Bingo.
That’s why we need regulation.
I’m not religious but I think ancient writings have value and deep truth sometimes.
“It is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.”

Mar 17, 2010 3:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JackStraw wrote:

lawmakers have tip-toed around health care reform for years but this sort of thing will continue to go on long after obama is out of office. there’s too much lobbying pressure and money flying at the senators and congressmen involved in the process from big pharm and insurance companies to make sure the health care system remains as unregulated and profitable as possible. that’s what happens when the entire federal government is corrupted and no longer acts in the interests of the general population.

Mar 17, 2010 3:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
LBailey wrote:

The point is the insurance company “institutionalized” it’s behavior of identifying the expensively ill and recinding their coverage without accurate and complete records, policies and procedures, and that ultimately the customer was treated purposefully unfairly–cheating the customer(s) in the name of cost containment and profit.
Look at the resources, time and money and talent on both parties to adjudicate this issue. The insurance company chose to fight rather than simply admit an error, reinstate the customer, and move on. Why spend the money…because they had much to hide.
Wonder if the SC Insurance Commissioner is investigating them. Probably not. As a former State Senator, he knows where his loyalty lies and it isn’t with insurance customers.

Mar 17, 2010 3:37pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AustinG wrote:

So lets see. One insurance company does something that they are legally permitted to do, which was attempt to protect themselves from fraud. Should the company just accept that the young man happened to contract HIV just after purchasing a health insurance policy from them? If so then why would someone buy one before getting ill? Not that companies don’t do anything wrong, but why are only their motives questioned? Why is the only solution to this the current legislation being pushed through DC?

Mar 17, 2010 3:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jscott418 wrote:

People do realize that health care reform will only raise premiums. Why? Because these people like in the article who have been denied insurance will now be forced to provide it. This is bound to increase premiums as claims go up. We like to complain about no coverage when its us. But when its somebody else we don’t want them pushing the rates up. Selfish I know.

Mar 17, 2010 3:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
robshaw wrote:

Look – the US needs Health INSURANCE reform. Not healthcare reform. Our health-care is the best in the world. It is the health insurance part that is the seedy underbelly of our “health care” system.

Rob

Mar 17, 2010 3:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
mikrojones wrote:

I just don’t see how anyone could do this and honestly be able to live with that… Have they no morals? Or, even a hint of decency?

Mar 17, 2010 4:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jborrow wrote:

Ah…crapitalism at its finest! However, we must always remember: Hamm is a PIG anyway you cut it!

Mar 17, 2010 4:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
waveonshore wrote:

It is incredible but we still have people in our country who feel we don’t need the reforms proposed my the Democrats! If we don’t get the bill passed I’m fearful it will be a generation or more before anyone tackles the issue again. Please… Congressman and Senators… pass the bill!

Mar 17, 2010 4:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
DVM wrote:

Rob,

Sorry friend, but your undisputedly wrong. The politicians are pointing their guns at the wrong target. It’s the rising costs of healthcare itself that needs to be addressed, not the health insurance companies. Premiums and the practices insurance carriers operate under are directly tied to rising healthcare costs. We can’t reform anything while the rising costs of healthcare goes unresolved. Sorry, Obamacare does nothing to resolve or curb healthcare spending. Furthermore, Obama/Reid/Pelosi and the like don’t care about reforming healthcare. We are 12 trillion in short term debt and $60 trillion long term debt. These “drunk with power” politicians in both parties are the cause of this and they need to be booted out of office. In regards to healthcare reform, it’s badly needed. However, we need to boot out of office the career politiicans first and hit the reset button. That’s what Americans deserve, in my opinion.

Mar 17, 2010 4:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
NatalieDu wrote:

AustinG,

I completely agree with you that this “innocent responsible kid” age 17 probably bought his own health care coverage before being tested because he probably “knew” he might have aids. He probably knew his risk factors. Fortis didn’t sue him for being fraudulent, but they did try to drop him for it. Goodie for him that he got a great lawyer. This kid is not the ideal poster child for my arguement for national healthcare.

But… lots of people are dropped everyday for “having cancer” or “getting a stroke” or “sustaining a head injury”. Even after paying premiums for years. I’m sure you would agree that these are not conditions that can be foreseen or conveniently blamed on the “lifestyle” of the patient.

The point is that health insurance companies drop individual policies if/when they find it profitable. They normally get away with it, too. The taxpayers left holding the bag for the chronically ill’s bills, because eventually they get on SSDI, or Medicaid, or Medicare. Basically, the government (you and me) pay for everyone who is really sick and old. Insurance companies rake in the profits from the employable and healthy.

Mar 17, 2010 5:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
mjdehm wrote:

Like the automobile manufacturers “planned obsolescence” the healthcare providers have “rescission”.

The use of a word/phrase that stands for the ability to put profits before ALL else.

Free market at its finest.

Mar 17, 2010 6:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BrotherJohn wrote:

When it comes to conflicts of interests, he who usually causes it wins it every time :-)

Mar 17, 2010 6:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
NatalieDu wrote:

SOOP,

You think homosexuals, drinkers, smokers, and hang-gliderers should be excluded from health care….

Don’t forget people who “don’t remember to take their vitamins”, “Men who go see hookers” “police officers” “firefighters” HaHa, great idea!

Yeah, maybe just the church-lady tee-totallers, Wal-Marters and fat slobs who watch football on weekends should be included in our system.

Or, maybe we can spread the risk through all the population. That means that everyone would pay, and everyone would get the healthcare they need. People who can afford it can get their own private health insurance on top. Nobody needs to go bankrupt over their medical bills. We already pay for the most expensive medical bills as it is through Medicaid, Medicare, etc. If people paid the premium to the government, then they could spread the risk and the costs instead of allowing insurance companies to add a major allowance for their own profits.

Nat

Mar 17, 2010 6:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
GodivaMD wrote:

Fare straight from a Robin Cook Novel . . . or for a Robin Cook novel. And yet people still believe industry should be unregulated?

Mar 17, 2010 6:50pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Benny_Acosta wrote:

Interesting that insurance companies don’t mind socialized medicine as long as they are the ones socializing it for profit.

“If a system can be created where coverage is available to everyone and all Americans are required to participate”…………

A government single payer system would be terrible. But forcing people to purchase insurance thereby making the government foot the bill indirectly while still allowing the insurance industry to cherry pick is just fine.

Mar 17, 2010 7:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
NatalieDu wrote:

Benny,

I sadly think that the insurance industry just has to go…..literally. That won’t be popular, but I don’t see that the industry adds to our healthcare experience. In fact, it drives up costs.

Nat

Mar 17, 2010 7:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BenFranklin wrote:

These are the scumbags who are spending millions to defend their ‘right’ to have a monopoly pillaging US consumers who have no other way to get health care insurance. They are represented in the political process by the GOP, who make a business of helping corrupt businesses rip off American consumers – scumbags all. The president is working for us, the people, against the scumbag businesses that have fed up poisoned food, denied us health care, and wrecked our economy. Vote Democrat, but let your representatives know you have your eye on them, and won’t tolerate cowardly self-interest subverting our President’s efforts to beat back the exploiters.

Mar 17, 2010 8:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BenFranklin wrote:

You want to ban people from health insurance plans if they are high risk? Intelligence correlates directly with: Better health, longer life, liberal views, more education, and atheism. So, let’s make sure nobody with a low IQ, a religion, conservative views, and low education has insurance. In other words, the great majority of Republicans need not apply.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religiosity_and_intelligence

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligence_quotient#Health

Let the howling and foaming at the mouth commence!

Mar 17, 2010 8:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Hoyoa wrote:

Maybe….check with the state Ins. board and find out if the said Insurer is a perferred copany or has prior isssues, before you buy, just like any other co. you would check out thru the better business bureau.

Mar 17, 2010 8:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
indignant wrote:

Kaiser Permanente did same to my girlfriend ( with HIV) … they approached her 2 years ago with special reduced insurance rate offer for 2 years, at end of it she was told she no longer had any coverage & would have to reapply … if Kaiser accepted her, the new policy would be $ 1200.00 per month !
NEED AN ATTORNEY !!! please help Kelly , email her: Conner103@comcast.net – Rick

Mar 17, 2010 8:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JFVP wrote:

Nuff Said .. Remove the power over life & death by insurance companies .. support Obama’s health care overhaul for God’s sake & ignore republican Lies ..

Mar 17, 2010 8:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Born2Late wrote:

After working in nursing for 15+years. I can tell quite a few stories about the evil insurance industry. The industry structures bonuses & promotions based on how many people they can throw into the abyss. If I go into it. I’ll aggravate myself. Suffice it to say, that 20yrs. hard labor, followed by a catastrophic diagnosis (& revoked health insurance0 would not be too harsh for those POSs.

Mar 17, 2010 8:50pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
heariam wrote:

I personally don’t know anyone with HIV or AIDS but this mans story bothers me to no end. It is really sad the way insurance companies treat people. This man did everything he was supposed to do and did it at a very early age, Bought health insurance to cover himself.
This is why we need HCR NOW not LATER and NOT a little at a time as all Repigs want. If this bill does not get passed it will never be picked up again for at least for another 40 years, and even then it will not be done by the Repigs, they do not want it done , PERIOD…
Obama , we are behind you 1000%.
Dems do your JOBS!!
Repigs , get the hell out of the way, People are dying everyday because of you !!

Mar 17, 2010 10:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
roncee wrote:

@BrandonRoding:

You read but evidently you don’t comprehend what you read. I’ll try to make it simpler for you to understand. Mr. Hamm is the insurance company CEO. For him and his insurance company it is like a bet at a crap table. They are betting that you are not going to get sick enough to cause them to pay out more than what they receive from you in premiums. Most of the time, that’s the way it works (they have a pass). Every now and then the company will issue a policy that costs the company more than they can ever recover from that policyholder’s premiums and the company “craps out”. (That’s the “snake eyes” reference in the first posting). Term life insurance is the same thing, the company is betting you won’t die before the term of the policy is up.

Mar 17, 2010 10:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
meyerhd2 wrote:

“Fortis ‘gambled’ with Mitchell’s life.”

Mitchell apparently ‘gambled’ with his own life first…by engaging in risky behaviour. Naturally, he believes the insurance company is the only one responsible for the consequences.

Mar 17, 2010 10:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Danzr_1 wrote:

`*~
These kinds of horror stories are not the exception but, on the contrary, the everyday policy of most, if not all insurers for, at least the last 30 years. This is criminal fraud and these dear folk should be prosecuted as bunko felons. Only a threat of hard time not a possible lengthy civil procedure with slap on the wrist fines – a light surcharge for doing business in this corrupt industry – will give these maggots even a slight pause in their piggish feeding frenzy for even more obscene profits. Hail BOmama … !_!

Mar 17, 2010 10:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
redmerlot wrote:

Anyone reading Hamm’s closing remarks should BEWARE of Obama’s health care reform.

Read those last sentences in this article. The head of Assurant, one of the insurance companies that is supposedly “under siege” by Obama’s reform, SUPPORTS it. He claims it will eliminate situations like the one described in this article. But READ CAREFULLY. Notice how he specifically notes that the new system must require everyone to participate.

Yes, America. You will all have to buy insurance, whether you like it or not. The insurance companies are licking their chops. Obama is going to subsidize them with your tax money, force you to spend more of your own money on coverage you do not want, and all the while call it “reform” for the insurance system.

A choiceless monopoly with a captive pool of customers is not “reform”, Mr. Obama. it is a dictatorship.

Mar 17, 2010 11:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
zhenchyld wrote:

My friend had the same thing happen to his mother after she was diagnosed with cancer. They canceled her policy because her payment check was two days late, the fault of nobody but the postal service. She also got a lawyer and won, which is the only reason she is still alive.

Mar 17, 2010 12:06am EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlteredStates wrote:

This latest victim of health insurance fraud further validates my contention that health “insurance” companies have to get out of the health care business. It is not within their interest to pay medical claims, justified or not. They are insurance companies. They make money by taking in more money than they pay out.

Health insurance companies have an obligation to their share holders to return a profit. If they don’t, the price of their stock will go down, and that is bad for business – their business. Executive compensation is another reason why your health insurance premiums continue to rise. Example:
http://www.startribune.com/business/11213701.html

If we eliminated the insurance companies and instituted “Medicare for All” the country would actually start saving money immediately. Even if the just the “Public Option” were part of the new health care reform bill you would see savings.

The choice is clear. Either, Medicare for all, or at least the Public Option. Anything else will send the U.S. into bankruptcy, and we will look a like a “Banana Republic” in about five years!

Mar 17, 2010 12:32am EDT  --  Report as abuse
alphadog wrote:

The expectation that a few hundred dollars can be leveraged against tens of thousands of dollars in medical goods and services is completely unreasonable. And there is something odd about a 17 year old buying insurance. In most states a 17 year old cannot enter into a legally binding contract.

The solution to this case seems to be a simple regulation requiring the carrier to pay off on illnesses that manifest themselves within the policy term, and to require coverage at the risk/premium level of that same class of insureds until the claimant is cured or is reinsured.

We do NOT need 100+ new federal agencies to do this.

Mar 18, 2010 1:12am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BOBBY99 wrote:

We are a banana republic now.
Rich bigots exempt from antitrust, cherry picking, under paying, over charging, lying, making up facts and killing paid customers at a whim.

CONGRESS HAS SINGLE PAYER AND THEY LOVE IT!

we will, too.
bobby99

Mar 18, 2010 1:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
capfrank wrote:

The Movie “Rainmaker”, with Matt Damon, Danny DaVito, John Voight, Clare Dane, Mickey Rourke, Dean Stockwell & Roy Schieder says it all.

Mar 18, 2010 7:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Chedar wrote:

What we need is to stand in front of the teabeggars and those who currently protesting in Washington paid by the lobbyist of the insurance company and shout back at them and tell them to go to He*L!

Mar 18, 2010 7:41am EDT  --  Report as abuse
logic wrote:

How about requiring all those opposed to HC overhaul to enroll in Assurant’s plan?

Mar 18, 2010 10:37am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ChrisJ wrote:

I’d like to know more about the contemptibly judgmental SOBs in this thread posting that they have no sympathy for this student’s “risky” and “irresponsible” behavior who they see as trying to take advantage of this poor, beleaguered insurance company just trying to make an honest profit.

Because, y’know, there’s NOTHING in the article about Mr. Mitchell’s lifestyle or other behavior. The one thing that’s clear is that he undertook the *responsible* act of purchasing insurance for himself… which some posters seem to find suspicious as well, so apparently he can’t win for losing.

The apparent “logic” here is that since he was diagnosed with HIV, he must be gay and must have engaged in risky sex, therefore he must known more than he disclosed to the company, therefore he’s unworthy of sympathy and deserves to die.

Needless to say, NONE of those conclusions are actually supported by the information at hand… and the final conclusion is just appalling under any circumstances. Multiple courts, which did have all the information, obviously found to the contrary. But apparently we should never underestimate the dehumanizing lengths to which some people will go in their unwavering dedication to the “free market.”

Mar 18, 2010 11:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JohnWH wrote:

Yeah….snake eyes
The Kid didn’t “don’t get sick”
and then he didn’t “die quick”

We trust our health care to companies
who see the best possible outcome as a
quick death???????????
lolololololol…..stupid americans….

Mar 18, 2010 11:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JayAdlerMusic wrote:

Nobody ever having the slightest thread to Mental illness will ever be offered Life Insurance or a liver transplant deemed “experimental” by a health insurer. The Life Insurers treat the first group as ultra suicidal risks and yet have a two year suicide exclusion for all policy holders. My county is red lined for a hurricane that never comes. Underwriting.

Mar 18, 2010 12:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
goatboy66 wrote:

Interesting wording to describe Obama’s last minute efforts as “frantic.”

Anyone else curious about that?

Mar 18, 2010 1:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
goatboy66 wrote:

Did everyone see the video of the mouth-breathers screaming at that guy with Parkinson’s?

At an anti-health care rally, a counter-protester with Parkinson’s sat down in the street and the Tea-baggers were screaming at him and calling him a communist.

What have we become?

Mar 18, 2010 1:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AkfromLa wrote:

Ryan White Act – look it up, your taxes pay for it. It’s doubltful this young man would have been left completely without coverage for HIV.

Mar 18, 2010 4:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
LTaylorGaia wrote:

When with the health care headache go away?

Mar 18, 2010 4:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JeremyJohnson wrote:

This is a very old story. It is being reported exactly as it was in September of 2009. Why is this headline news now? The real point of this story is being missed, which is that there is no way to differentiate between fraud and fair play in these situations. It is plausible that someone could commit fraud with an individual policy with respect to any chronic disease. This would be an argument for mandated coverage, but would say nothing about who should pay for that coverage.

Mar 18, 2010 9:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
cdj wrote:

This is the type of behavior that, if the contract agreement between the client and the health insurance company was broken by the health insurance provider, your government should be working to protect you from. But instead your government is using this to continue to sell you more ideas that they will deliver you to health care utopia by them not only taking power of doing their jobs as protectors of the people but going into the health care business and ultimately overseeing themselves (bad place for government to be).

You think there is some weasel tactics going on in private health insurance now wait until Obama and his cronies turn the health care system into a political weapon. Then you will find out the hard way that everyone cannot be covered for every ailment with out the country going broke and you will then see rationing of care based on age, affirmative action style health rationing based on skin color, ethnicity, sexual orientation and everything else that comes along with political machines from the far left and far right. Just like the justice department has become, a political weapon for political party extremism. Not to mention the facilities will be degraded to the level of care seen at public health clinics by an influx of patients, not enough doctors and nurses, and not enough money to keep the infrastructure vibrant and cutting edge without taxing the people and their businesses into the ground.

With the way Obama and the government is making decisions about everything and the lack of transparency what kind of healthcare do you think they will be running? Obama is going to lead you to utopia alright. His world, his way or get out of his way and die already. But you won’t get decisions based on the will of the people in that proposed healthcare Utopia.

Mar 18, 2010 12:33am EDT  --  Report as abuse
TooUnfazed wrote:

Health insurance has created a behemoth they can’t control and the cost of health care is too high for the economy to bear. Insurance caused the high prices in the first place. At this point I don’t want to share a country with 100 million uninsured people who could potentially take up arms and get what they need, anyway. It’s called a Coffee Party Revolution.

Mar 19, 2010 10:36am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.