Insurer to pay cancer patient $9 million for canceling policy - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-23-2008, 06:02 PM   #1
Infinity's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,188
Local Time: 04:08 AM
Insurer to pay cancer patient $9 million for canceling policy

By THOMAS WATKINS, Associated Press Writer
Sat Feb 23, 2:30 PM ET

LOS ANGELES - A woman who had her medical coverage canceled as she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer has been awarded more than $9 million in a case against one of California's largest health insurers.


Patsy Bates, 52, a hairdresser from Lakewood, had been left with more than $129,000 in unpaid medical bills when Health Net Inc. canceled her policy in 2004.

On Friday, arbitration judge Sam Cianchetti ordered Health Net to repay that amount while providing $8.4 million in punitive damages and $750,000 for emotional distress.

"It's hard to imagine a situation more trying than the one Bates has had to endure," Cianchetti wrote in the decision. "The rug was pulled out from underneath, and that occurred at a time when she is diagnosed with breast cancer, one of the leading causes of death for women."

Bates, a mother of two, said she screamed when she heard about the damage award.

"I am elated," she said.

Bates' attorney William Shernoff said he wanted other insurers to take notice of the award.

"We are going to put a stop to this practice," he said.

Health Net said it was implementing a freeze on policy cancelations that would last until the company sets up a third-party review panel to scrutinize cases.

"Obviously we regret the way that this has turned out, but we are intent on fixing the processes to maintain the public trust," spokesman David Olson said.

The award came a day after the Los Angeles city attorney sued Health Net, claiming it illegally canceled the coverage of about 1,600 patients. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo also said the company illegally ran an incentive program in which it paid bonuses to an administrator for meeting targets of policy cancelations.

Health Net acknowledged that such a program existed in 2002 and 2003 but was subsequently scrapped.

"It's hard to imagine a policy more reprehensible than tying bonuses to encourage the recision of health insurance that helps keep the public well and alive," Cianchetti wrote in the Bates decision.

Bates had been insured with another company but was persuaded to switch over to a Health Net policy after an agent suggested she could save money.

She said she had undergone surgery to remove a tumor and had received her first two chemotherapy treatments when doctors stopped treating her because her bills were going unpaid.

"I was devastated. I didn't know what was going to happen," Bates said. "It's boggling that someone can do that to you."

Bates went on to complete her cancer treatment through a state-funded program.

Health Net also said it would review its practices and the way its brokers and agents are trained.


Infinity is offline  
Old 02-23-2008, 07:21 PM   #2
Blue Crack Distributor
Lila64's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: ♥Set List Lane♥
Posts: 52,591
Local Time: 03:08 AM
Healthnet is in a lot of hot water right now I believe.

Congrats to Ms. Bates

Lila64 is offline  
Old 02-23-2008, 07:50 PM   #3
Rock n' Roll Doggie
sue4u2's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: hatching some plot, scheming some scheme
Posts: 6,628
Local Time: 06:08 AM
Originally posted by Lila64
Healthnet is in a lot of hot water right now I believe.

Congrats to Ms. Bates
I agree Lila - This is good news for sure.
I just hope that soon, it doesn't take someone like her - years to get justice, and I hope they don't tie it up in appeals or worst, file bankruptcy.
sue4u2 is offline  
Old 02-23-2008, 07:59 PM   #4
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Jeannieco's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,935
Local Time: 04:08 AM
I love justice, but this is such a common tragedy these days as we all know....such a shame for this poor woman.
Reform is coming soon!! I pray so...:Pray:
Thank God
Jeannieco is offline  
Old 02-25-2008, 02:00 PM   #5
Blue Crack Addict
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 24,837
Local Time: 07:08 AM
Great story, I hope she gets every penny of it. I can't imagine they won't appeal, those companies are such Yeah I'm sure they'll "review their practices"
MrsSpringsteen is offline  
Old 02-25-2008, 02:34 PM   #6
Blue Crack Overdose
Get me off the internetz!
Carek1230's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: wishing I was somewhere else....
Posts: 108,469
Local Time: 04:08 AM
Altho this is in deed a sad story and is something that never should have happened, it IS huge lawsuits like this that put the cost of healthcare up even higher. I realize it is difficult to place a dollar value on pain and suffering or death/loss, but it all affects the grand scheme of things.

Carek1230 is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:08 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright ©