Health Insurance Cancelled Retroactively

by sammielee24 16 Replies latest jw friends

  • sammielee24

    A woman on the news this morning was reporting that her health insurance company up and cancelled her insurance on her - but unfortunately, they did it retroactively back to January of this year. Now she's left with $30,000 in bills to pay and get this! She was up to date on her payments and was paying every month - she just decided that she had put off going to the doctor for a while and was getting all her tests and exams up to date. Apparently there is already a big lawsuit on behalf of 6,000 other people in California that had their insurance ripped out from under them but I'm not soo sure that does much for the person's credit rating or ability to get other insurance or reminded me of the lady who had her's cancelled because she had filled out the check wrong by a few cents. sammieswife.

    Cathy Leardreceived a letter this week informing her that she’d lost her health insurance over 6 cents.

    The Garden Grove woman was told she had mailed a check for her COBRA benefits for $575.50 instead of $575.56. COBRA is a federal law that allows former employees to continue their group health insurance for 18 months, but payments for the full amount must be postmarked within a 30-day grace period.

    The 6 cent shortfall showed up on her March bill, so she added that amount to her payment. But in a letter dated April 1, Leard learned that her HMO had been canceled retroactively to Jan. 31. To make matters worse, last month her husband, Allen, racked up a $21,000 hospital bill to have his pacemaker replaced.

    Leard, 51, immediately called Ceridian, a Florida COBRA administrator, to straighten out the problem. She said she was told that people have been canceled before over a penny.

    “That’s the law. It has to be full payment and a timely payment,” said Leard, who lost her job in September as office manager for a plumbing company.

    Leard panicked thinking those bills would go uncovered and they would lose the home they’ve owned for 20 years.

    Leard went back and looked at the check she wrote and discovered that she had in fact written out the correct amount. She called Ceridian and a supervisor said the computer scanned the check incorrectly, reading her “6″ as a “0.” She was told she would be reinstated.

    Ceridian did not respond to a request for comment

  • drwtsn32

    Ridiculous. This is why we need a single-payer healthcare system. Insurance companies suck. They are motivated only by profit, and will find any reason not to pay.

  • Big Tex
    Big Tex

    Insurance companies are evil.

    My mother's liver and colon cancer was in complete remission due to a new treatment. However the insurance company denied payment as they said it was "experimental" and therefore not covered. Her doctor waived all his fees, wrote several letters pleading with them, which of course they ignored. The cancer returned and in 3 months she died.


  • WTWizard

    That is one reason I prefer to pay something like $650 in vitamins per year. That "insurance" cannot be cut off for a few pennies of error, nor can it be denied. It prevents you from getting sick in the first place, and may prevent you from needing allopathic drugs. For the record, magnesium is possibly the single most beneficial supplement on the market, because most of us are deficient and it is responsible for so much--something like 500 milligrams of magnesium per day (or more--more is safe unless you have severe kidney disease).

    The good thing about magnesium is that, if it prevents me from needing allopathic drugs, it also prevents me the pain of having a disease, the side effects, and having to waste time and money on more doctor visits and repeat tests (that could just as easily be faulty). None of that is possible from insurance, even the single-payer variety (which would be better than insurance companies that try to deny claims). And if people are healthier, medical bills go down to boot, and insurance premiums will have to go down or people will realize that they don't need it as much, and the companies will all go belly up.

  • Mad Dawg
    Mad Dawg

    The whole thing was over a clerical error. Anyone here want to say with a straight face that the government won't make such errors?

  • JeffT

    COBRA is a federal law. If you want to know what single payer gov't insurance will look like, take a look at what happened to this woman.

    Insurance, like any other contract, can be held to the letter of the contract. If the prior payments were made on time, I don't see how her insurance could have been retroactively canceled.

  • DJK

    Unfortunately there are people who will let something like this go without a fight. Thats what the insurance companies want. Because of them these companies will always make life miserable for others.

    I have always felt that insurance is a gamble. For thirty years I paid into health insurance and never used it. Then I started annual physicals, no problem. Then I fileted the skin off three finger knuckles and the insurance company doesn't want to pay, no reference from my primary care doctor. It just gets worse with the major problems.

    Insurance companies will create excuses not to pay. That explains why they are profitable. Collect 40 dollars a week from one person you know and then pay their medical bills. You could never collect enough to cover what you have to pay, unless you know how to type the word "DENIED".

    My sister fought for five months to collect on her husbands life insurance. They tried to deny her because (I shite you not) her husband was dead!!! My sister died two days after recieving the check.

    Insurance companies suck.

  • SixofNine

    Insurance companies work on the same financial model as a Casino.

    Actually, that's not true. Insurance companies should work on the same financial model as a casino. Instead, they work on the same financial model as Casinos for their bread and butter income, but for profits, they work as if they are Casinos that get to choose not to pay out winnings simply because they want to keep the money.

  • Satanus

    The govt would do a btter job of healthcare. The prophit principle isn't as strong. Here in canada, it's pretty straight forward. You know up front what is included and what isn't.


  • BurnTheShips

    Does the article mention whether the patient has a legal case?


  • Mad Dawg
    Mad Dawg

    At least with an insurance company, I can dump them for another if they provide poor service, or sue them. If the government runs it, I will be stuck with whatever the politicians push on me. Has anyone tried to sue the government here? Private insurance companies are the lesser of the two evils. Companies may deny claims, but governments deny proceedures. As I understand it, if you are over 52 in Britain, you will not get dialysis or a transplant if you are having severe kidney problems. Oregon instituted limitations on care about 10 years ago.

    Having worked in insurance as a broker, I can verify that they do stamp "denied" all over everything. Usually because their claims department is short staffed and this is the quickest way for the clerks to clear their desks.

    What comes as a surprise to most people is that insurance is not a gamble at all from the company's perspective. Using actuary tables and their own history, they can usually predict within 1 or 2 percentage points what their claims are going to be for the upcoming year. Same with employers that provide health insurance for their employees.

  • sammielee24

    If you want to know what single payer gov't insurance will look like, take a look at what happened to this woman

    NOT. I'm not sure how you can even equate the two. In a single payer system, you pay taxes to the government who then pays the doctors. You don't get a bill and you can't be cut off because you pay into it. That is contrary to an insurance company who can cut you off anytime their profit decreases - that is contrary to an insurance company that can prohibit you getting care - that is contrary to an insurance company that can bankrupt you if they deny you coverage.

    Big, big difference. I have NO idea where you people get these ridiculous notions. sammieswife.

  • Mad Dawg
    Mad Dawg

    When the government doesn't raise enough taxes, it cuts your benefits. But hey, at least we will all get screwed together.

  • BurnTheShips
    But hey, at least we will all get screwed together.

    No we don't. Those with money will always have access to what they want. Those on the bottom get a free ride. This just creates an illusion of equality. It's us middle rankers that get it from both ends.


  • Mad Dawg
    Mad Dawg

    BTS said:

    No we don't. Those with money will always have access to what they want.

    Actually, it will only be politicians that get what they want. Hillarycare of '93 had language in the bill where you would go to jail for six months, lose your right to vote, be labelled a felon, and pay a $10,000 fine - just because you had the temerity to pay a doctor out of your pocket instead of going to the doctor forced on you by the government.

  • BurnTheShips
    Actually, it will only be politicians that get what they want.

    The wealthy have political access Mad Dawg. That is all that is needed.

    Like I said, it is us middle rankers that will get stuck with higher taxes and inferior care.


  • kurtbethel

    The insurance companies are now running a newer scam. What some of them do, is each time you pay premiums they issue you a new policy. Then if something happens they pay it, but in the next billing cycle it becomes a "pre existing condition" and they do not pay. Clever! The shareholders love it.

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