Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Health Insurance denied for Chunky Baby

Yesterday we talked about whether fat babies leads to fat toddlers. Today I read this story. It seems a chunky baby was denied health coverage due to his weight! Wow!

FROM NBC:As insurance companies criticize the latest health care reform plan, one of
them has come under scrutiny for its decision to deny coverage to a four-month-old baby in colorado who is big for his age. They reversed themselves, but it's the kind of situation that leaves insurance company customers shaking their heads in disbelief.

At 4 months old - Alex Lange may already be a symbol of health reform - and he looks almost as confused about it as his parents are. (SOT/MOM) "It's frustrating, it's very frustrating."

Alex was born big and happy -- quickly earning the nickname 'chunky monkey.' At 17 pounds, no wonder. Although he's healthy as ever, his parents decided to apply for individual health coverage for Alex - but they were turned down -- not because of his age, but because he was too fat.

"...it's not like we can put him on the Atkins died or on a treadmill....this is crazy...he's breastfeeding...."

"Their insurer, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, said Alex was obese -- a pre-existing condition - a financial risk -- and given their underwriting guidelines - he was uninsurable even though he was perfectly healthy."

"I feel like we're being punished, ya know?"

Individual policies for infants like Alex are relatively new - so are the guidelines. And experts say the pre-conceived limits are a problem.

Alex's father, a local news anchor - made the story public - and the insurer didn't dodge the issue - in fact admitted there was a flaw in the system.

"We'd like to see health care reform so that these things go away."

Late today Rocky Mountain Health Plans announced "a company-wide policy change" -- that will now "provide coverage"..."for healthy infants, regardless
of their weight."

As for Alex -- even though he can't walk - he's already a major player in the healthcare debate. Not a bad legacy at 4 months old.


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