A Colorado woman suffering from leukemia and in the middle of intensive chemotherapy gets laid off. Bad enough, but at least she can afford to keep her insurance through COBRA continuation. She pays her first COBRA bill and unknowingly it’s a penny short–actually, a little under half a penny short. Then she gets a letter saying her health insurance "has not been reinstated with your insurance carrier(s)." And when she calls (in the middle of a day of chemo) the phone rep demands immediate payment by wire or mail of the penny.
Read the whole jaw-dropping story from the Colorado Springs Gazette here.
If this is what the insurance industry calls customer care, imagine what we’ll get if the industry succeeds in its bullying campaign to to open loopholes and insert vague definitions of "health care" into the regulations that will govern health care reform.
If it costs insurance companies a million dollars in lobbyist fees to get language that lets them dump cancer patients over half a penny, they’ll consider it money well spent.
And one final thought: If the patient above was perfectly healthy and hadn’t been costing the insurer big bucks for cancer treatment, what are the odds that they would have overlooked the half-penny?