Woodland Hills, CA – A breast cancer patient was let go as a recipient of California’s Health Net insurance policy while undergoing chemotherapy treatments. The patient won a $9 million lawsuit brought against the health insurance company for their decision to drop the patient. Since the lawsuit California Health Net has amended its policy and no longer drops patients undergoing treatment. A ruling was set forth that the insurance company made a decision in bad faith as to not have the patient’s interest in mind. Bad faith insurance is under investigation by government agents throughout the United States in regards to health claims.
A private deliberation was given by a judge, which has the potential to change the landscape of how health insurance companies operate all over the country. Insurers may think twice before dropping ill patients in the middle of treatment. Especially since the judge handed down a twenty-one page ruling regarding the incident and his decision. The California state insurance commissioner is behind the judge’s decision all the way.
Planned Cancellations of Health Insurance Policies
The CEO for Health Net put an abrupt stop to planned cancellations of health insurance policies. The company says it is taking the situation seriously and is implementing new policies and sales techniques. The goal is to regain the confidence and trust of policy holders so they can be assured that they will have the coverage they need when it is required.
Prior to the judge’s deliberation in the case, health insurance companies would stand behind their right to canceling policies when the companies deemed necessary. They often say the do the cancellations in the interest of costs and as a screening process to eliminate people from their roster that didn’t disclose health conditions. The companies defend their stance by saying that cancellations are rare and don’t occur very often. In regard to the present case Health Net fought the fact that the patient didn’t give her actual weight and didn’t disclose a heart condition that was in existence at the time of enrollment. The patient postulates that she was distracted during the enrollment process with one of the agents. She said she answered the questions as best as she could and had not intention of giving false or inaccurate information.
Bonuses Awarded for Canceling Health Insurance Policies
It has been proven that Health Net sales staff were receiving bonuses and incentives for canceling policies under the old standards. The judge was not happy about this practice and made that clear in the ruling. Some on the side of Health Net have remained emphatic that the patient’s suffering in the situation was slight. The deliberation was conducted privately since Health Net had the patient agree to binding arbitration. The majority of what the patient received was for what is considered to be punitive damages resulting from the loss of the insurance.
Currently, there are three lawsuits pending against Health Net at this time, which cover a span of four years. On case involves 1600 people seeking retribution for damages through a class action lawsuit regarding the dropping of their coverage.
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