Report:12 million Americans rejected by health plans

A new report from HHS concludes that the current health insurance system rejected 12.6 million non-elderly adults, or 36 percent of those who attempted to buy health coverage, during the past year.

Many of those rejected for coverage had cancer, the survey found. Insurance companies in those cases either charged a higher premium or declined to cover the condition entirely. A related survey cited by the HHS report said that one in 10 people with cancer said they couldn't get health coverage, and 6 percent said they lost their coverage because of their diagnosis.

Some people with sicknesses like cancer, which cost health plans a great deal of money, are subject to intensive reviews of their applications. If insurers believe they've found even an inadvertent error on the policy, they revoke coverage retroactively, a practice known as rescission.

This could change dramatically under proposed health system reforms, as many versions would prohibit health plans from refusing coverage based on medical histories or health risks. Health plans would also be barred from offering lesser coverage, or refusing to renew policies when someone becomes sick.

To learn more about coverage denials:
- read this Healthcare Finance News piece

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