Earlier this afternoon, a group of powerful House Democrats urged the nation’s largest health insurance companies to voluntarily agree to provisions in the new health care law banning them from dropping sick policyholders. Just a few hours later, one of those insurers — WellPoint — agreed to the Democrats’ request.
In a release posted to the company’s website, WellPoint promised to fully implement the health care law’s requirements on recissions starting May 1.
Not surprisingly, Democrats who signed the letter welcomed the move and called on the rest of the industry to follow WellPoint’s lead.“The race is on,” House Health Subcommittee chair Pete Stark said in a statement. “WellPoint took the first step, now it’s up to the other insurance companies to show they’re serious about making health reform work.”
Ways And Means Commitee chair Sander Levin, who also signed the letter to insurers today, said it was about time that the practice of dropping insurance from sick policyholders come to an end.
“WellPoint’s rescissions have drawn a great deal of attention to this reprehensible practice,” he said. “While I welcome the news that they will immediately implement the ban on individual policy rescissions, I strongly encourage other companies that have engaged in this practice to immediately follow suit.”