GAO: Millions of U.S. Adults Have Pre-Existing Conditions


An estimated 36 million to 112 million U.S. adults have pre-existing conditions -- such as diabetes, hypertension and mental health disorders -- that could lead health insurers to deny coverage, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report. America's Health Insurance Plans downplayed the report, saying that the number of individuals with pre-existing conditions who are uninsured is low.

Hatti Hamlin
The truth is that an insurer can find a "pre-existing" condition in anyone. I just applied for an individual policy. After filling out an exhaustive application and undergoing a grilling by a physician interviewer the insurer couldn't find a reason to deny me--but they could find a reason to increase the quoted rate by 10%. Why? Because three years ago I was in an auto accident and I underwent three months of physical therapy. No subsequent treatment or complaints. And, oh yeah, at 62 I had a couple of basal cell skin nodules removed in the past two years. (By my age, if you haven't had at least one skin cancer removed you've been living in a cave.) Life itself is a pre-existing condition--and it's gonna cost you!

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