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: Researchers developing an artificial vision system for prosthetic legs to improve gait

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study shows troubling rise in use of animals in experiments

Feb 25, 2015

Despite industry claims of reduced animal use as well as federal laws and policies aimed at reducing the use of animals, the number of animals used in leading U.S. laboratories increased a staggering 73 percent from 1997 ...

Challenges for doctors using fitness trackers and apps

Feb 20, 2015

More hospitals and doctors are starting to use data from fitness trackers and health apps to help treat patients. But they are moving cautiously. The technology has a lot of potential, but there are key ch ...

Mercury levels in Hawaiian yellowfin tuna increasing

Feb 02, 2015

Mercury concentrations in Hawaiian yellowfin tuna are increasing at a rate of 3.8 percent or more per year, according to a new University of Michigan-led study that suggests rising atmospheric levels of the toxin are to blame.

Recommended for you

Many transplant surgeons suffer burnout

Feb 25, 2015

Despite saving thousands of lives yearly, nearly half of organ transplant surgeons report a low sense of personal accomplishment and 40% feel emotionally exhausted, according to a national study on transplant surgeon burnout

5 tips for handling early-year medical expenses

Feb 25, 2015

The clock on insurance deductibles reset on Jan. 1, and that means big medical bills are in store for some. Patients may be required to pay thousands of dollars before their health care coverage kicks in.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.