Commentary

A heartless insurance company landed Jennifer Latham in health-care hell.

"You're in Bad Hands," Alan Prendergast, February 11

Health-Care Hell

Insurance companies that practice this type of disgusting behavior against people should be driven out of business. The CEO should be sitting in a jail somewhere for a very long time. Sooner or later these companies will act against the wrong person, and that person will engage in death and mayhem against the company. Who could blame them?

Steve Naus

Centennial

I have been in the sometimes precarious position of owning a health-care business for the past fifteen years. As an employer, I have had to deal with annual increases in employee health-care premiums paid to insurance companies, while as a provider, receive less from them every year, for the same services rendered. These and the other daily shenanigans in which they partake — like the one involving Jennifer Latham — contribute to their CEOs being among the highest-paid executives in the country. This is a disgrace.

Thankfully, the court came to Jennifer's rescue, and hopefully her case will motivate more folks to take action against these Goliaths, since our government seems to be doing very little.

John Nasuti

Posted at westword.com

Shortly after my grandson Liam's first birthday, he was diagnosed with a genetic degenerative muscular disease that turned him into a power-wheelchair toddler. Assurant denied coverage based on arbitrary policy language that power mobility "does not qualify as Durable Medical Equipment that WE determine to be covered."

 When his parents inquired about the denial — after paying Assurant premiums for seven years — they were told, "You should have read your policy more carefully before giving birth to this child." Their appeal to the state insurance commission seemed promising until their caseworker was ordered to "Drop the case. You're making too many waves."

 My numerous written and telephone requests for the specific criteria that qualify DME for coverage were ignored. Finally I went before Assurant's grievance panel, an impenetrable stone wall erected by their monolith of lawyers. Despite denying all responsibility to cover the wheelchair, they offered either thirteen months of rental on a manual wheelchair, or $1,250 — later recalculated to $2,500. Both options were declined, as Liam will use a power wheelchair his entire life.  Finally we "outed" Assurant on Good Morning America in 2007. And though this was fruitless for Liam, it was personally gratifying, as I was able to twice chew mightily on the CEO's ear.

 In 2009, when five-year-old Liam needed a less expensive piece of DME, I made a phone call to the CEO's office. I was directed to file this "claim" through their Correspondence Department rather than the "required" claims process — and it was paid in full.

 Until Assurant and other for-profit insurers are forced to actually cover the folks whose money they take each month, no one is more than "falsely insured." And Liam remains saddled with both questionable insurance and a pre-existing condition.

Amy Kaplan

Boulder

Now Hear This, Jason Heller, February 11

Horns of a Dilemma

Jason Heller's self-indulgent "review" of the Antlers clearly shows that he has no perception of art in its finest form. It's quite obvious that Mr. Heller didn't take the time to either listen to Hospice or learn about the Antlers before writing his uninformative, whining article full of nothing but jibberish. Was this supposed to be a review of the band or the album, or was it only meant to be a forum for Mr. Heller's incessant, misdirected, unintelligent, off-the-mark ramblings? He actually sounds like a person envious of the Antlers' well-earned rapid rise to indie-rock stardom while he's simply masquerading as a reviewer of bands and music. If this is all he can provide to his readers, I would prefer he spare us all his agony.

P.D.

Denver

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.

Latest Stories