Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Denials up amid large health insurers: lawmakers

In a report released on Tuesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee's top Democrats said the number of people refused health insurance plans by big insurers Aetna Inc, Humana Inc, UnitedHealth Group Inc and WellPoint Inc due to pre-existing conditions rose 49 percent in the last three years.

The denials affected tens of thousands of individuals seeking to buy their own insurance. In 2009, 257,100 could not get a plan compared with 172,400 in 2007, the committee said.

Overall, the insurers refused to sell plans to more than 651,000 individuals -- or one out of every seven applicants -- because of their medical history, Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and fellow Democrat Representative Bart Stupak said.

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