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The Most Outrageous Examples Of Health Insurers Denying Coverage (PHOTOS)

Huffington Post     First Posted: 04/19/10 06:12 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 04:35 PM ET

For millions of Americans, adequate health care is still out of reach -- and not just because of spiraling premium costs.

As President Obama pointed out in a NYT op-ed last summer, a recent survey found that over the last three years, more than 12 million Americans were either refused overall coverage, refused coverage for a specific condition or subject to higher premium costs.

And even those who believe they're fully insured may not be as protected as they hope. Recurring examples of insurers digging up and scrutinizing customers' old records after they get sick suggest perverse incentives for companies to dump their customers once they fall ill. Some insurance companies have even been found to award bonuses and better performance reviews to employees who revoke the most policies.

We compiled a list of some of the worst cases of insurance companies denying sick customers access to medical care. Check them out below -- and if you've been denied coverage, click "Participate" below and tell us your story.

Dropped After Testing HIV Positive
After 17-year-old college student Jerome Mitchell tested positive for HIV in 2002, his health insurance company retroactively annulled his coverage. Fortis Insurance claimed that a nurse's note written before his coverage began may have indicated that Mitchell had already known he had contracted HIV. The note turned out to be an error, and earlier this year, the South Carolina Supreme Court called the company's behavior "reprehensible" and ordered it to pay Mitchell $10 million in damages.
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