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View Full Version : Sexual Assault a pre-existing condition???



rosefaeries
02-24-2010, 12:33 AM
http://www.kval.com/news/85135407.html

Until I read this article, I had no idea that being a sexual assault victim could result in said victim not being able to get health insurance. So, some insurance companies will continue the assault by denying health coverage to the victim. Not acceptable by any stretch of the imagination.

Here is the link to the proposed bill http://www.leg.state.or.us/10ss1/measpdf/hb3600.dir/hb3631.a.pdf

I am very glad that someone is taking steps to make sure that this does not happen in Oregon. But what about the rest of the nation?

Furthermore, what the bill covers is far broader than what the article implies. Any harm caused by sexual violence and domestic violence is covered. The bill still doesn't go far enough in my opinion. So many rapes are not reported, and much of what happens in domestic violence is also under reported. Is a police report necessary in order to get the benefit of the bill? A conviction? And what about the domestic violence? What sort of documentation will be required there?

Here is the article.

Is Sexual assault a pre-existing condition?
By Laura Rillos KVAL News

SALEM, Ore. -- Post-traumatic stress, herpes, sexually transmitted diseases: The lasting effects of sexual assault can have another devastating consequence -- preventing a sexual assault victim from getting health insurance.
Some insurance companies consider certain injuries and treatments pre-exisiting conditions, said Rep. Suzanne VanOrman, D-Hood River, who first learned of the practice during her work with the Hood River Soroptomist Club.
"I think my reaction was amazement, truly amazed a victim would be discriminated against because it's such a horrific episode in a person's life," said VanOrman.
The practice is not happening in Oregon, said VanOrman, and she wants to make sure it will not.
She has sponsored House Bill 3631 (http://www.leg.state.or.us/10ss1/measpdf/hb3600.dir/hb3631.a.pdf), which prevents a company from denying or reducing coverage based on "physical or mental injuries sustained as a result of domestic violence or sexual violence or treatment received for such injuries."
as a preexisting condition
The bill has passed the House and the Senate and is now on its way to Governor Ted Kulongoski's desk. VanOrman anticipate he will sign it into law. The bill would go into effect immediately.
"At this point, it doesn't have any effect because it's not being done in Oregon," she said. "It's simply a proactive move so it doesn't."
KVAL News spoke with insurance agents in the Eugene area who said they were not aware of the practice. One agent, providing background, said someone with herpes may be denied medical coverage because certain strains can lead to cancer.
Under VanOrman's bill, if the person contacted herpes during a sexual assault, the insurance company could not consider the STD while determining coverage.
Any bill that could encourage sexual assault victims to get treatment is a good idea, said Wendy Maurer, Youth Prevention Education Program Coordinator at Sexual Assault Support Services in Eugene.
"There's nothing more devastating for someone who's already been hurt to go to a medical provider or service provider and been blamed for what happened to them," said Maurer.
The bill does not specify how an insurance company might determine if an injury or treatment resulted from sexual assault.

Lady Hefron
02-24-2010, 12:55 PM
I....wow....no words except STUPID F'IN IDIOTS. If that's a pre-existing condition I'm doomed.

Phoenix McHeit
02-24-2010, 01:19 PM
Somebody's been at the Alarmist Kool-Aid again.

Sheesh. Please show me what insurance company does this. Please show me in the article that ANY insurance company considers Sexual Assault injuries to be pre-existing conditions? All it says is that some companies consider certain conditions to be pre-existing. Yes, they do. Where does it say that those certain conditions are sexual assault injuries?

I say again, sheesh. It even says "At this point, it doesn't have any effect because it's not being done in Oregon," she said. "It's simply a proactive move so it doesn't."

So now we have to have legislation - before anything even happens, just IN CASE IT MIGHT, someday, could possible, if no one watches, Won't somebody please think of the CHILDREN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fer cryin' out loud, I'm glad the Oregon legislature has nothing more important to worry about.

Artos O'Dalriada
02-24-2010, 01:35 PM
Give me evidence it's happening, and then I'll start hollerin' about it...

MaidenFaeSnow
02-24-2010, 01:54 PM
I would have liked the article to state, specifically, what spurred Rep. VanOrman into action to begin with. It doesn't occur in Oregon, but what set her wheels in motion to begin with to make sure it never does?

rosefaeries
02-24-2010, 02:38 PM
I would have liked the article to state, specifically, what spurred Rep. VanOrman into action to begin with. It doesn't occur in Oregon, but what set her wheels in motion to begin with to make sure it never does?


I would have liked more information about that myself.

In the article, one of the insurance agents did state that herpes could be a reason for insurance to be denied. It is one thing to be denied coverage because you contracted a disease from someone you chose to be with;it is a whole another matter to be denied coverage because you contracted a disease due to an assault. So I would say that yes this could very well be happening.

I just watched the video. (Use the article link and click on the video link.) According to the video, all of those conditions can cost someone their health insurance. And it is happening in other states.

I would far rather have a proactive move to prevent denial of health insurance than to have someone who has survived that type of situation be denied health insurance. The bill covers far more than just sexual assault. It also covers domestic violence. This bill means that people who had horrific things done to them can still get health insurance. (Eg poisoning by a domestic partner. It is more common than you think. There can be very long term problems caused by that)

Would I still like to have had more background information on why this proactive move is being done? Yes I would. But I am very glad that it is being done.

rosefaeries
02-24-2010, 02:46 PM
Here are a few other items you might find interesting.



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/21/insurance-companies-rape-_n_328708.html


http://jezebel.com/5376131/democrats-vow-to-eliminate-domestic-violence-as-pre+existing-condition

http://www.alternet.org/health/143426

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/10/06/domestic.violence.insurance/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

MaidenFaeSnow
02-24-2010, 03:11 PM
I would have liked more information about that myself.

In the article, one of the insurance agents did state that herpes could be a reason for insurance to be denied.

Not giving health insurance to someone who has contracted herpes seems rediculous. I understand the point of the possibility of it leading to cancer, however, how are companies going to uphold a policy of only giving it to those who got herpes through assault? It's not like they can expect someone to provide a police report number or carry an "I was assaulted" ID card for crying out loud. Sheesh.

Phoenix McHeit
02-24-2010, 03:40 PM
See the thing is, I had (at one time) a pre-existing condition. I have ruptured discs in my back and neck. But I can get coverage. All I needed to do was sign a waiver stating that I agreed that the company wouldn't cover things that were disc-related for a period of 6 months. After that (provided I'd made all payments and no claims against the waiver) bingo, I was covered.

So yes, maybe there is a certain segment of the population who needs to wait 6 months (or a year, or whatever that particular insurance company's policy is), but if one follows the rules, one can indeed get coverage.

I still wanna know what company denies coverage for being sexually assaulted.

Cruisewench
02-24-2010, 09:33 PM
I still wanna know what company denies coverage for being sexually assaulted.
Apparently Blue Blue Cross Blue Shield

A 38-year-old woman in Ithaca, N.Y., said she was raped last year and then penalized by insurers because in giving her medical history she mentioned an assault she suffered in college 17 years earlier. The woman, Kimberly Fallon, told a nurse about the previous attack and months later, her doctor's office sent her a bill for treatment. She said she was informed by a nurse and, later, the hospital's billing department that her health insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, not only had declined payment for the rape exam, but also would not pay for therapy or medication for trauma because she "had been raped before."

But...

I think it's important to point out that health plans are not denying coverage based on the fact that someone was rapedBut PTSD could be a factor in denied coverage.

Vyxen
02-25-2010, 11:40 AM
Carry this out a bit further --- you know those Genealogy ads that are currently running to contribute a DNA sample to trace where in the world your ancestry could claim to be from? Add that to the insurance deniability efforts.

Maybe I'm being cynical (paranoid?) but DNA tests could show one might have a predisposition to certain conditions which could lead to insurance being denied, or even a company not hiring someone based on their DNA; and no, I'm not the first person to suggest this.

And just as an aside - aren't most of the ancestry and roots web sites owned by the Mormons?

Cruisewench
02-25-2010, 08:34 PM
you know those Genealogy ads that are currently running to contribute a DNA sample to trace where in the world your ancestry could claim to be from? Add that to the insurance deniability efforts.
Maybe I'm being cynical (paranoid?) but DNA tests could show one might have a predisposition to certain conditions which could lead to insurance being denied, or even a company not hiring someone based on their DNA; and no, I'm not the first person to suggest this.

It's not just Genealogy ads, Most hospitals today take a dna sample from babies born there, as part of a screening and testing bill that bush signed. More info here: http://tinyurl.com/6y4gvm and here: http://tinyurl.com/y8nbkes
What you mentioned is exactly the point the last article brings up.

Isabelle Warwicke
02-25-2010, 10:44 PM
Carry this out a bit further --- you know those Genealogy ads that are currently running to contribute a DNA sample to trace where in the world your ancestry could claim to be from? Add that to the insurance deniability efforts.

Let me twist this a bit more. I am genetically pre-disposed to haemochromotosis. The insurance won't pay for the test to determine if I have it. But genetic pre-disposing would qualify as a pre-exisiting condition. Good Christ on Toast this idea is a snake in my brain.

MaidenFaeSnow
03-05-2010, 07:18 PM
So I wanted to see if I could actually find out what spurred VanOrman to act. I wrote an email to her and since it is about a very public topic, I feel it is okay to post it here:

"Rep. VanOrman,
I recently read an article in the Chicago tribune concerning insurance companies not wanting to cover individuals with preexisting conditions that are possibly from assaults. I'd very much like to know how you first became alarmed about the possibility of this occuring which then prompted you to take action to assure that it would not happen in Oregon. Any background info you could provide would be greatly appreciate so that I can be a more informed citizen."
Following is the response I received
Dear Karen,
I am writing for Rep. VanOrman. She has been concerned about this issue for many years, and became aware in preparation for the February special session, that further legislation was needed to protect victims of sexual violence from insurance discrimination.

The statistics are grim; although sexual assault is a medical emergency, only a small minority of victims receive immediate medical care. Even fewer victims access counseling and other health issues related to sexual assault. We appreciate your writing and hope you will keep in touch.

Mary Anderson
Legislative Assistant

Ravin' Raven
03-05-2010, 08:01 PM
"Rep. VanOrman,
I recently read an article in the Chicago tribune concerning insurance companies not wanting to cover individuals with preexisting conditions that are possibly from assaults. I'd very much like to know how you first became alarmed about the possibility of this occuring which then prompted you to take action to assure that it would not happen in Oregon. Any background info you could provide would be greatly appreciate so that I can be a more informed citizen."
Following is the response I received
Dear Karen,
I am writing for Rep. VanOrman. She has been concerned about this issue for many years, and became aware in preparation for the February special session, that further legislation was needed to protect victims of sexual violence from insurance discrimination.

The statistics are grim; although sexual assault is a medical emergency, only a small minority of victims receive immediate medical care. Even fewer victims access counseling and other health issues related to sexual assault. We appreciate your writing and hope you will keep in touch.

Mary Anderson
Legislative Assistant

Thank you for doing this but I guess I am still confused. This reply does not address the preexisting condition issue. It addresses that many victims do not receive care immediately or seek assistance later. This is a fact regardless of insurance issues. I think it is unfair to assume that because a company has rules about preexisting conditions (that are being enacted across the board) to say that the practice is specifically targeting sexual violence victims.

This needs to be one of those let's please peel the onion back and find out the whole store(ies) before conclusions are reached moments.

I need more facts to react.

MaidenFaeSnow
03-06-2010, 10:46 AM
Thank you for doing this but I guess I am still confused. This reply does not address the preexisting condition issue. It addresses that many victims do not receive care immediately or seek assistance later. This is a fact regardless of insurance issues. I think it is unfair to assume that because a company has rules about preexisting conditions (that are being enacted across the board) to say that the practice is specifically targeting sexual violence victims.

This needs to be one of those let's please peel the onion back and find out the whole store(ies) before conclusions are reached moments.

I need more facts to react.

I know, I was pretty disappointed with the somewhat generic response I got.