Ian’s Law

News // Only in NY

State Senator Eric Schneiderman (UES UWS up through Inwood) has introduced legislation called “Ian’s Law” to close loopholes that allow insurers to drop entire lines of health care coverage in order to get rid of specific, high-cost patients.

Ian’s story, from Robert Harding on Kos:

Put yourself in Ian Pearl’s position. You were diagnosed with muscular dystrophy shortly after your birth and have been confined to a wheelchair since you were six years old. Even though you were physically disabled, your brain is fully functional and you are striving to be the best you can be.

But then it happens. At 19 years old, you have a life-threatening complication that leaves you with one option: If you are to live, you must breathe with the help of a ventilator.

And then:

Guardian decided that they were sick of covering Ian. At first, they pulled the health care plan that covered everyone in his dad’s company in New York. That could be seen as a general move not targeted at Ian, but with some digging, Ian found that it was because of him and others with serious medical issues that Guardian made this decision. According to Ian’s account on Huffington Post, Guardian created a “hit list” of their insured customers who were costing them the most to cover. These members were referred to by Guardian’s top officials as “dogs” and “trainwrecks” because of their health conditions and their cost to insure. Ian was one of many targeted by Guardian, a process that included certain members like Ian having private investigators look for anything to cancel the plan so Guardian could save money.

See Ian speak for himself at the press conference with Sen Schneiderman:

Sickening stories like this make me think that no amount of regulation is going to change the ways of these rapacious insurers — they will always be one step ahead of the game to try and make money on people’s well-being. Note that Guardian was reporting $7.5 billion in profits while they erased lines of coverage to drop Ian and others in NY State. It makes me so angry and frustrated that such a broken system is allowed to persist while people are dying all over the country.

Read Ian’s Law here.