News Headlines Article

Health insurance: Spread the risks
Los Angeles Times

The House Energy and Commerce Committee provided more ammunition to supporters of comprehensive healthcare reform last week, issuing a startling report about the market for individual insurance policies. The report found that the four top for-profit health insurers in the U.S. denied coverage to 1 of every 7 applicants from 2007 to 2009 based on their medical histories. This selectivity, which was intended to reduce the companies’ costs and protect profit margins, makes sense from a business perspective. But it contorts the definition of insurance, which is to spread risk across a pool of customers.