WellPoint Ends Policy Cancellations

A week after coming under fire for allegedly revoking coverage for breast-cancer patients, insurer WellPoint will amend its cancellation policies. The new reform will stop automatic policy cancellations, triggered when women are diagnosed with breast cancer, except in the instances of fraud; this puts WellPoint in line with the recently passed health-care overhaul, which stipulates that starting in September providers can’t cancel policies except in cases concerning fraud or misrepresentation. The move follows a recent Reuters investigative article indicting the company for "specifically target[ing] women with breast cancer for aggressive investigation with the intent to cancel their policies," to which WellPoint responded with the statistic that less than 0.1 percent of individual members' policies were rescinded in 2009. On Wednesday, it defended this practice of rescissions as "one process for insurers to reduce fraud and protect members."