After denying health coverage to a four-month-old infant because he was too fat, Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Health Plans received negative media coverage all around the country.
The company’s policy was to refuse coverage to anyone—even babies—whose weight was above the 95th percentile, citing the pre-existing condition of obesity as the reason why.
Alex Lange, the 17-pound boy from Grand Junction, Colorado who was turned down for coverage for being in the 99th weight percentile for his height, was 100% breast-fed, and was, apart from being heavier than his peers, exceptionally healthy.
The baby’s father, who works at a local NBC affiliate, was able to get the story of his son’s rejection picked up by the national news.
In light of the negative media coverage and the national outrage it received, Rocky Mountain Health Plans has now decided to “change its policy” toward chubby babies, and has agreed to offer coverage to little (big) Alex.
The insurer said Monday it would change its policy for babies who are healthy but fat. The company attributed the boy’s rejection for health coverage to a "flaw in our underwriting system."
"We have changed our policy, corrected our underwriting guidelines and are working to notify the parents of the infant who we earlier denied," Rocky Mountain Health Plans said in a statement. –AP
What a powerful force for positive change a media spotlight can be, when its focus is universally clear, direct, well-intentioned, and reasonable. Is there any way we can convince the public-option haters that the 47 million uninsured are all just a bunch of helpless, chubby babies?