Massachusetts Sues Four Insurers

September 21, 2000

The Boston Globe reported today that Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly has sued four health-insurance companies for denying coverage to college students who were suffering from preexisting medical conditions.

The companies’ denials are a violation of state law, which the Legislature passed to guarantee health coverage for people who must change insurance carriers – particularly those who have a serious illness, the Globe reported.

The four companies named in the suit- all of which sell insurance to college students – allegedly violated the law by refusing payment for treatment of conditions the students had before signing on with the companies. The companies are Boston Mutual Insurance Co., Continental Assurance Co. of Chicago, Mutual of Omaha, and Chickering Claims Administrators of Massachusetts, which administers benefits for Aetna USHealthcare.

Along with the lawsuit, Reilly’s office announced a settlement under which the companies agree to reimburse college students for the costs they incurred when coverage was denied, the Globe reported. An estimated 2,000 students at 30 universities are covered by the companies.

Just how many were denied coverage for preexisting conditions is still unclear. To find out, the health insurers are searching their records for affected students.

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