Saturday, September 12, 2009

Domestic Violence victims have a "pre-existing condition?"

Insurance companies have used the excuse of "pre-existing conditions" to deny coverage to countless Americans. From cancer patients to the elderly suffering from arthritis, these organizations have padded their profit margins by limiting coverage to patients deemed "high risk" because of their medical condition.

But, in DC and nine other states, including Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming, insurance companies have gone too far, claiming that "domestic violence victim" is also a pre-existing condition.

Words cannot describe the sheer inhumanity of this claim. It serves as yet further proof that our insurance system is broken, destroyed by the profit-mongering of the very companies who's sole purpose should be to provide Americans with access to care when they need it most. In 1994, an informal survey conducted by the Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee revealed that 8 of the 16 largest insurers in the country used domestic violence as a factor when decided whether to extend coverage and how much to charge if coverage was extended.

It is clear that insurance companies refuse to police themselves. It's up to us to call on Congress to take action now to pass health care reform and end discrimination against patients with pre-existing conditions.

Source: Service Employees International Union


  1. I have been denied services dues to domestic violence from an insurance company. I was assaulted by my now ex-husband and when I required medical attention for said injuries, the company (United Healthcare) refused to pay for the care. I was sent a questionare regarding the nature of the injury and when I filled this paperwork in and returned it to UHC offices, I was then sent a bill by the doctor stating the insurance declined to cover the cost of treatment. As a result, I am now partially paralyzed and am unable to do some things many people take for granted. I cannot type on a keyboard as most people do. I use one hand and one finger rather than 8 fingers. I am unable to sweep or mop my floors. To do this would cause my hand to lock up and I would be in extreme pain.

    I drop things while carrying them (imagine the humiliation to be holding a glass and have it just slip from my hold?). I cannot do many of the things without pain that I once was able to do. Yet the punishment for this man? NOTHING!!!!

    This is not fair. Where are all the court people to help me now?

  2. Jennifer,
    I hope you contact your Congressman & both Senators to let them know about your plight. Especially with all the health care reform that is being discussed in Washington. Yours is an important story that they need to hear.