Congress Increases Pressure On Health Insurers
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
U.S. Members of Congress are expanding their investigation into health insurance companies. It all began when Anthem Blue Cross decided to raise rates up to 39 percent in California.
Now a House committee is focusing on the practices of four other large insurers, including Aetna. Lawmakers have asked for internal documents on underwriting and cancellations.
Bryan Liang is with the California Western School of Law. He says federal law prohibits insurers from arbitrarily canceling coverage.
"You can't yank somebody's policy unless you have very specific reasons for doing so, including fraud and other things," said Liang. "And you have to give them equivalent coverage if in fact they have to switch from one policy to another."
Liang says terminating a policy after a person gets sick is all too common in the health insurance business. Insurers maintain they're following the law.