by Dr Mark Thoma, MD, Americablog
One of the things that the Affordable Care Act (aka ACA, aka Obamacare) was meant to do was make sure that people with pre-existing medical problems could get health insurance.
And that their insurance was affordable.
But that may not be the case with some insurance companies.
What these insurance companies seem to be doing is targeting prospective patients who have medical illnesses that require a lot of treatment and placing obstacles in their way to getting insured with the offending companies.
These are patients who may require expensive medications, very frequent doctor visits, costly therapies and other treatments that the insurance company is loathe to pay for. And these discriminatory actions are occurring nationwide, and to such an extent that a large number (~300) of groups (consumer, patient advocacy, medical support and others) have signed and directed a letter to Sylvia Burwell, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human services to ask her to investigate and redress the situation.
The health insurance companies seem to be using one, or more, of the following approaches to blocking undesirable potential customers:
1. Not putting expensive medications on their formularies, or charging prohibitively expensive copays (formularies are lists of the drugs that the health insurance company has agreed to pay for, but a copay may be required.) Continue reading.