According to a Reuters article published today, subsidiaries of health insurance giant Wellpoint used a computer algorithim to search their insureds’ medical records to find breast cancer diagnoses and then cancel their policies on false pretenses. The article states:
The women all paid their premiums on time. Before they fell ill, none had any problems with their insurance. Initially, they believed their policies had been canceled by mistake.
According to Reuters, health insurance carriers, including Wellpoint, have been under scrutiny for years for a practice called "recission", targeting individuals with expensive life-threatening medical conditions and cancelling their policies. Wellpoint was reportedly identified by a federal investigation last year as one of the worst offenders, but federal investigators have now informed Reuters that Wellpoint specifically targeted women with breast cancer. Hopefully, federal investigators and the new health care legislation will put an end to this appalling practice. It is unclear what legal remedies the women affected may have against their health insurance carrier at this stage, but if the allegations are true, Wellpoint may be liable for fraud.