Rocky Mountain Health Plans, a Colorado health insurer, announced in a press release Monday that they will cover “heavy” babies after a story revealed the insurer had denied coverage to a healthy infant who weighed 17 pounds.
“A recent situation in which we denied coverage to a heavy, yet healthy, infant brought to our attention a flaw in our underwriting system for approving infants,” Steve ErkenBrack, president of the insurer said in a release Monday. “Because we are a small company dedicated to the people of Colorado, we are pleased to be in a position to act quickly. We have changed our policy, corrected our underwriting guidelines and are working to notify the parents of the infant who we earlier denied.”
RAW STORY has learned that the parents of Alex Lange, the infant who was denied, will appear on Monday night’s The Ed Show on MSNBC.
In their release, the insurer said parents seeking individual coverage for their infants was a new trend, writing, “Underwriting for this age group is a relatively new process.”
Raw Story’s earlier story follows.
As if there weren’t enough problems with health insurance companies: a new report reveals that insurance companies now deny coverage to babies that are above the 95th percentile for height or weight after they are born, effectively considering their size a “pre-existing condition.”
In a report published this weekend, The Denver Post revealed the story of Alex Lange, “a chubby, dimpled, healthy and happy 4-month-old.”
Lange’s parents say he was denied coverage because he’s in the 99th percentile for infant weight. Rocky Mountain Health Plans turned him down, saying insurers don’t take babies over the 95th percentile, no matter how healthy they are.
“I could understand if we could control what he’s eating. But he’s 4 months old. He’s breast-feeding. We can’t put him on the Atkins diet or on a treadmill,” his frustrated father, Bernie Lange, told the Post. “There is just something absurd about denying an infant.”
Bernie and Kelli Lange tried to get insurance for their growing family with Rocky Mountain Health Plans when their current insurer raised their rates 40 percent after Alex was born. They filled out the paperwork and awaited approval, figuring their family is young and healthy. But the broker who was helping them find new insurance called Thursday with news that shocked them.
” ‘Your baby is too fat,’ she told me,” Bernie said.
Up until then, the Langes had been happy with Alex’s healthy appetite and prodigious weight gain. His pediatrician had never mentioned any weight concerns about the baby they call their “happy little chunky monkey.”
His brother had trouble putting on weight, his parents say, so they’ve been more conscious in feeding their new son. Later, the story noted:
At birth, Alex weighed a normal 8 1/4 pounds. On a diet of strictly breast milk, his weight has more than doubled. He weighs about 17 pounds and is about 25 inches long.
“I’m not going to withhold food to get him down below that number of 95,” Kelli Lange said. “I’m not going to have him screaming because he’s hungry.”
More details on the Lange’s saga can be read here.
The question of weight isn’t purely academic when it comes to health insurance, but studies suggesting higher premiums for people with higher “body mass index” measurements give only tepid support to such a pricing scheme. Those with very high BMIs do cost insurers more, though the correlation is weaker than some might suspect.
On one hand, statistically, people who are obese (BMI above 29.9) have higher insurance costs than those who have healthy weights (BMI of 19 to 25). The CDC estimates that as much as 10 percent of U.S. health care costs are due to overweight and obese people. So perhaps they should pay a higher premium for their health care.
However, I don’t think folks with a BMI of 27 or 28 cost insurers much more than someone with a BMI of 25 — I just haven’t seen the evidence — and almost certainly they don’t cost 20 percent more. So I don’t think that’s fair.
Moreover, most football players, because of their high muscle mass, have BMIs above 30, so what of those people who lift weights? And finally, it is true that someone with a BMI in the high 20s or low 30s who exercises regularly is more healthy than a couch potato with a healthy weight.
You can calculate your own body mass index here.
‘Kraken’ attorney has message for Trump fans: Make checks payable to Sidney Powell
Today we learned why mobster Don Donald Trump wanted the wildest of his wild-eyed attorneys ejected unceremoniously from his so-called legal team: She was trying to cut into his action.
Yes, TV attorney Sidney Powell can grift with the best of them.
Now that Powell has “unleashed the Kraken” with the help of a copy editor who was smoking the Kraken, it’s time to resolve one of the burning questions of the QAnon universe: “How can we ever show our appreciation to Sidney Powell?”
It turns out you can send her a check as part of a ruse so shameless that Powell isn’t bothering to have your payment made out to the 501 C-4 political “organization” she formed. Just pay the woman directly.
Conservative blames ‘political correctness’ for pausing COVID-19 vaccine trials to ensure it works for everyone
A conservative columnist complained that pausing to ensure coronavirus vaccines worked on demographics that were hardest hit by the pandemic was intolerable "political correctness."
Aerospace engineer Robert Zubrin published a column for National Review reacting to a New York Times report on the rush to develop a vaccine for the potentially deadly and highly contagious coronavirus, and complaining the process hadn't been swift enough.
"This situation was made even worse when Moncef Slaoui, head of the Trump administration’s 'Operation Warp Speed,' contacted Moderna on August 25 and told them they had to pause the final stage of their testing program until they recruited more minority subjects," Zubrin wrote. "This delightful piece of political correctness cost Moderna a month, during which time approximately 40,000 Americans died from coronavirus."
Fox News report determines Trump ‘cannot pardon himself’
A Fox News segment on Thursday concluded that President Donald Trump cannot grant himself a pardon before leaving office.
Following Trump's pardon of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Fox News host Julie Banderas spoke to Reuters correspondent Jeff Mason about the decision.
"I've heard this from a couple sources that I spoke to -- former White House officials -- yesterday, who said this president is planning more pardons," Mason reported. "Clearly this is a president who is on his way out from the White House and he's got just a little less than two months to continue to make his mark."