Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm Speechless

Today's Denver Post has this article:
Heavy infant in Grand Junction denied health insurance.

Read the whole article here, but wow...just wow, wow, wow. Can insurance companies *really* get away with this?

I've posted the first few grafs below just to give you a taste. I wonder if I would have been denied insurance as a baby if this was common back in then? I wasn't one of those 14-pounds at birth kids, but certainly I tipped the scales on the high end.

It's one thing to demonize overweight adults -- and teens..well, don't get me started. They have their own particular hell. But children? Babies? Are you kidding me? And to have it done by an entire industry? This is getting way out of control.

DENVER POST: Alex Lange is a chubby, dimpled, healthy and happy 4-month-old.

But in the cold, calculating numbered charts of insurance companies, he is fat. That's why he is being turned down for health insurance. And that's why he is a weighty symbol of a problem in the health care reform debate.

Insurance companies can turn down people with pre-existing conditions who aren't covered in a group health care plan.

Alex's pre-existing condition — "obesity" — makes him a financial risk. Health insurance reform measures are trying to do away with such denials that come from a process called "underwriting."

By the numbers, Alex is in the 99th percentile for height and weight for babies his age. Insurers don't take babies above the 95th percentile, no matter how healthy they are otherwise.

This is the paragraph that really gets me. So...he's a healthy, hungry kid who happens to be taller and weigh more than the so-called "norm," (whatever that is) and so therefore he can be denied health insurance. HOW IS THAT LEGAL??????

1 comment:

  1. It is very frustrating, isn't it? These charts really make me aggravated. According to every insurance chart I am still at the high end of the overweight range, and I am nearly obese. I don't think that is where I am at right now at all. It just goes to show the inaccuracy of these charts.