Rockefeller Demands Transparency and Reform from Health Insurance Industry

Chairman Continues Push for Consumer Protection in America's Health Care Marketplace

March 25, 2010

Consumer Protection 2WASHINGTON, D.C.— In his continued effort to hold health companies accountable for how well they cover consumers, Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, sent a letter today to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware (BCBSD) requesting more information on the company’s policy towards covering “stress tests.” This request follows recent reports that the company has routinely refused to cover these tests for their policyholders, even when doctors have deemed them medically necessary.

According to two recent stories in the Wilmington, Delaware News Journal, BCBSD has repeatedly refused to pay for “stress tests” for their policyholders who are showing signs of coronary heart disease, including severe chest pain. Stress tests help doctors diagnose coronary disease and determine patients’ risk to heart attacks and other heart-related conditions. As reported by The News Journal, BCBSD, acting through a third-party claims review company called MedSolutions, told a number of policyholders that the tests were not “medically necessary,” and refused to cover them, even though the patients complained of symptoms that strongly suggested heart disease.

“While we are making history here in Washington this week, we will need to continue to make sure that American consumers get the healthcare they pay for and deserve,” said Chairman Rockefeller. “As we implement health care reform, I intend to keep a close watch on the health insurance industry and will continue to ask tough questions about how they do business. Denying medically necessary services to patients showing signs of serious heart disease is not acceptable. That’s not how health care should be delivered in our country. American consumers deserve better and they are going to get it as health care reforms are implemented over the coming months and years.”