Chairman Rockefeller Questions Health Insurance Execs on Harmful "Purging" Practices Used Against Small Businesses Throughout America

August 5, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, sent a letter to CIGNA today requesting information regarding how the health insurance company “purged” small businesses whose employees made too many claims and cost CIGNA too much money.
“Since I took over as Chairman of the Commerce Committee in early 2009, we have been investigating the health insurance industry. What we have uncovered about this industry so far is alarming and makes clear that nobody should assume they are getting a fair deal from their health insurance company,” Rockefeller said. “These ‘purging’ practices are extremely harmful and impact millions of American small businesses and families across the country.  I want answers because I fundamentally believe people deserve to know why their health insurance company isn’t looking out for their best interests.”
As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Rockefeller has launched a full investigation in to deceptive health industry practices and held a number of hearings.  At a June 24th hearing on consumer choices and transparency in the health insurance industry, a former CIGNA executive testified and described to committee members “purging” and the extent to which it is used.