Friday, August 7, 2009


Rescission! Hah! Good God! What is it good for?

Profit profit profit.

Rescission is the insurance company practice of denying coverage to insured policyholders, and it is overwhelmingly applied in situations where the policyholder has a right to significant payment.

Here's the step by step:

1) You or your employer pay thousands of dollars in dues to an insurance company.
2) You get sick.
3) Your insurance company decides that in retrospect, you weren't eligible for coverage from the start, sometimes because you didn't fill out forms correctly, sometimes because they identify a previous condition that you didn't know about, and call you ineligible because of it.
4) The insurance company keeps all those dues, and you are suddenly sick, uninsured, and broke (because those dues weren't cheap!)

Rescission is different from the argument that expensive treatments aren't covered, it is a complete denial of all insurance and it's much more profitable for insurance companies. This article is the best explanation I've seen about rescission's impact on insurance company profits -- all the companies have to do is get rid of about half of a percent of their sickest patients, and their financial outlook becomes much rosier. Remember, though -- one of the things you pay for when you or your employer sends a check to the insurance company is a promise that if you become part of that expensive 0.5%, you'll be taken care of.

And let's not forget -- we live in a country where even 'not for profit' health insurance CEOs make millions and for-profit CEOs take hundreds of millions of dollars in stock options, while the number one cause of bankruptcy is health care bills.

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