Job, medicine could ax health coverage

Jan 08, 2007

Health insurers in California can refuse to cover individuals because of their jobs or because they take certain medicines, documents showed.

Total groups of workers -- roofers, pro athletes, migrant farmers and firefighters among them -- are denied insurance, even if they're in good health and can afford it, The Los Angles Times said Monday. According to actuary tables, certain workers are too big a risk to underwrite.

Blue Cross of California, the state's top seller of individual policies, does not exclude applicants based on occupation, but three others do: Blue Shield of California, PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. and Health Net Inc.

But all four health plans examine prescription drug use when deciding individual policies, documents showed. Dozens of widely prescribed medications for heart burn and asthma, for example, may lead to rejection, according to underwriting guidelines, the Times said.

Health plans said the restrictions, legal in California, are necessary to keep premiums down.

As state lawmakers and the governor consider extending coverage to many of the state's uninsured, consumer advocates said such policies are too restrictive.

"This isn't cherry picking; this is ignoring whole orchards of people," Jamie Court, Foundation for Consumer and Taxpayer Rights president, told the Times.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Most published medical research is false; Here's how to improve

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

What do wildfires have to do with climate change?

Oct 14, 2014

As the western U.S. faces its third year of severe drought, firefighters are still battling two large fires in California. The state, which is experiencing its worst drought since record keeping began in ...

Recommended for you

New MCAT shifts focus, will include humanities

Oct 20, 2014

(HealthDay)—The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) has been revised, and the latest changes, including more humanities such as social sciences, are due to be implemented next April, according to a report ...

Using feminist theory to understand male rape

Oct 20, 2014

Decades of feminist research have framed rape and sexual assault as a 'women's issue', leaving little room for the experiences of male victims. But a new study published in the Journal of Gender Studies suggests that feminist ...

User comments : 0