Insurance fraud: "If they wait long enough... the policyholders will die."

The story in today's New York Times about long-term care insurance is a bombshell, evoking the heart-rending predicaments of frail 80-somethings paying years of long-term care insurance premiums only to be denied coverage for nursing home care when they are ailing. I recommend reading the whole article, but if you don't have time, this sentence, from the former senior executive at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, pretty much sums it up:

"The bottom line is that insurance companies make money when they don't pay claims... They'll do anything to avoid paying, because if they wait long enough, they know the policyholders will die."

The article details the hours on the phone and reams of paperwork insurance companies demand, only to deny care. Knowing that most people won't sue, insurers prefer to settle out of court rather than risk that the details of their operations be revealed in the course of a lawsuit. On the other end, as DMI fellow Andrew Friedman so powerfully writes, the front-line workers actually doing the work of caring for the elderly also get squeezed in an effort to cut costs.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.