2 Year Old Skinny Baby Denied Healthcare – Height and Weight Did not Add Up to the Allowable Algorithmic Formula For Coverage
Posted Oct 21 2009 10:02pm
This article states this was a division of United HealthCare that denied coverage. I keep talking about how they run those formulas and here’s another perfect example, as they are refining these down to where it’s really going to get difficult to fit the parameters. Was the girl outside the percentiles on a growth chart? What did they use? We need algorithmic laws in place or this will just keep happening, it’s all done by the computer running code that makes these decisions and humans relay the word. BD
As you consider the plight of tiny Aislin Bates, keep in mind that no other wealthy nation on the planet allows health care to be denied to its children. But that's exactly what happened to Bates, a two-year-old girl in Colorado considered too risky a client to be insured by United Healthcare's Golden Rule. If you'll recall, that's the same company that caused a big ruckus during a congressional hearing when Peggy Robertson, also from Colorado, testified she could not get insurance from the company because she had delivered a baby via Caesarean section. The company advised her to consider sterilization as a pathway to coverage.
Though she's now 22 pounds, according to 7 News in Denver, the poor kid's parents received a letter making them feel like saps: "We are unable to provide coverage for Aislin because her height and weight do not meet our company standards." Apparently Aislin was too small, putting her in the category of children who might one day actually need to access a doctor (although she seems quite healthy).
Of course all this comes at a bad time. As everyone knows -- and is sick of hearing -- the United States is mired in a raging debate over health care reform. Most private insurers are dead set against various plans that advocates say would protect consumers. Moreover, private insurers generally say a publicly-funded government option for people who cannot otherwise find, or afford, health insurance could put them out of business. Some insurers are paying lobbyists to defeat the reform packages backed by most Democrats and President Barack Obama and largely opposed by Republicans.