Insurer To 17-Year-Old: Your Parents Lied On Application, Good Luck Paying Your Bills

The Chicago Tribune says that when 17-year-old Brianna Rice was diagnosed with celiac disease in February — she had insurance. Her insurance company, however, has rescinded that coverage because her parents allegdly lied on her application — by neglecting to mention her troubling medical history of dizziness, elevated cholesterol levels, ongoing fatigue and a persistent cough.

The girl’s father says that these symptoms were cherry-picked from various doctor visits.

Dale Rice said the insurance company cherry-picked from various doctors’ visits, and that none of his daughter’s health problems were ongoing. He attributed the dizziness to dehydration, the fatigue to his daughter staying up late surfing the Web, the elevated cholesterol to an inaccurate test, and said the cough is now gone.

The rescission has left the family with over $20,000 in unpaid medical bills racked up when they thought they had coverage. The next step for them is bankruptcy.

We are livid,” said Dale Rice, who, along with his wife, is out of work. “When a private insurer gets legitimate claims and seeks to find excuses not to pay them, they are clearly demonstrating morally and ethically bankrupt behavior.”

The company, American Community Mutual Insurance, (advertising slogan:”People who care. Policies that protect”) disagrees.

“The coverage you applied for would not have been issued for Brianna if we had known this medical history at the time of application,” said a letter announcing the rescission. The insurance company is within the law, and the practice of rescinding coverage on individuals who were obviously not intentionally attempting to defraud the company by leaving out relevant medical history is standard, if sleazy.

Firm cancels health insurance coverage for girl, 17, after celiac disease diagnosis [Chicago Tribune]