Yesterday, slink's diary reported that Congressional leaders had asked WellPoint, Kaiser, Assurant, United Health, Humana, Blue Cross and Aetna, seven of the biggest insurance companies in the US, to stop rescissions immediately, months before the law banning that practice is to take effect in late September.
And later, another diary by banderson reported that Wellpoint had agreed to halt the practice starting May 1 after being berated by HHS Secretary Sebelius about this very issue.
Now comes word that United Health will immediately stop terminating healthcare coverage for policyholders after they become ill, and
Other insurers, such as Aetna Inc and Assurant Inc unit Assurant Health, have said they would end rescission ahead of the deadline but they did not say when.
So good news! If even one person is saved the unbelievable cruelty of having their insurance coverage cancelled after they fall ill with cancer, AIDS, or anything else, then all the effort and publicity and pressure from Sebelius, Congress and the public will have been worth it.
The Administration and Dems in Congress seem to be doing an excellent job so far in browbeating the insurance companies. Let's hope this continues, and that proper regulations are written to tighten the screws ever so tightly on the ability of the insurance companies to practice rescission when the law actually takes effect.
Of course, the insurance companies can just continue to raise premiums to coverage the cost of their new rescission-less policies. Which is why legislation now before Congress, introduced by Senator Feinstein, to give the Secretary of Health and Human Services the power to regulate rises in insurance premiums becomes ever more important. There will be no point in not having rescissions if no one can afford to pay their insurance premiums!