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Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP | Jul 17, 2015

Health Care Law Reform Eliminates Abusive Insurance Company Practices

Categories: News

If you or a loved one were denied health insurance coverage, were subject to higher premiums, or had health insurance coverage cancelled by Fortis Insurance Company, Time Insurance Company or Assurant Health, contact one of our local attorneys today.

On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, bringing about sweeping changes to the way health insurance companies operate in this country. Under these new laws, health care reform will end multiple abuses that have become standard practice for the insurance industry. Most notably, under the new laws, insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against policyholders on the basis of pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition is a medical condition that existed before someone applied for or enrolled in a new health insurance policy.

Under the terms of the health insurance reform laws, health insurance companies are immediately prohibited from denying coverage to children on the basis of pre-existing conditions. In 2014, this protection will extend to all Americans, and insurance companies will no longer be permitted to rely on pre-existing conditions as a reason to discriminate against adults seeking health insurance.

PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF THESE NEW HEALTH LAWS

Millions of Americans - 12.6 million in the last three years, according to one recent survey - were denied health insurance coverage or were subject to increased premiums on the basis of pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition may be something as serious as cancer or heart disease or some minor conditions such as asthma, a previous sports-related injury or hay fever that could trigger higher premiums or the denial of coverage entirely. Although denying coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition was a common practice in the health insurance industry, certain companies abused this practice more than others. One of these companies was Fortis Insurance Company, which is now known as Time Insurance Company. The company also uses the name Assurant Health. Time/Fortis is one of the largest individual health insurance providers in the United States.

Time/Fortis's practices of accepting applications and underwriting policies, then refusing to pay claims and denying coverage have come under scrutiny in several states. Multiple states have investigated Time/Fortis and concluded that the company's conduct violates state and federal law and their insureds' rights. One investigation detailed the company's practice of searching for reasons to deny expensive claims on the basis of pre-existing conditions. In the eyes of the law, Time/Fortis's conduct constitutes bad faith, as the company places its economic interest above its duty to protect the interest of its insureds. Bad faith claims denial and contract rescission are illegal in every state.

CLEVELAND ATTORNEYS PROTECTING RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS

Attorneys at Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP are working to protect the rights of individuals who were denied health coverage or were subject to higher premiums because of this company's misconduct.

If you or a loved one were denied health insurance coverage, were subject to higher premiums, or had health insurance coverage cancelled by Fortis Insurance Company, Time Insurance Company or Assurant Health, contact one of our attorneys today.