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…WellPoint dropped the policy of [a] Texas woman — shortly after she too was diagnosed with a cancerous lump in her breast, according to congressional investigators who have reviewed internal company records.
WellPoint told the Energy and Commerce Committee the cancellation of the woman’s policy was justified because she had not told them that she had osteoporosis and bone density loss — even though neither has anything to do with breast cancer and an insurance agent rather than the woman herself may have been responsible for those minor omissions.
Investigators for the committee stumbled upon the woman’s case during their inquiry into rescission. But in the records that WellPoint produced, the woman’s name and contact information was blacked out.
When the committee asked WellPoint for more information about her, the company refused to provide it, citing federal privacy laws for their policyholders.
Committee investigators said they then suggested WellPoint could itself inform the woman that a congressional committee had interest in her case. If the woman wished to talk to the committee, they suggested, she could contact it on her own.
WellPoint declined to do that as well, according to the committee records.
Technically, rescission was not the reason [Patricia] Relling lost her health insurance, according to correspondences with the company she provided to Reuters. Rather, it was canceled because she did not answer letters from her insurance company requesting information about her employment history.
Relling says the letter was sent to an address which she hadn’t lived at it for some time, and she never even saw it until recently. When she brought this information to WellPoint’s attention, she said, the company ignored her.