Cancer patient wins case against Health Net for cutoff during treatment

Health Net was ordered to pay $9 million after cutting coverage in the middle of breast cancer treatment. It says a lot about why the US system is in shambles, that this could even happen in the first place. In the McCain “free market” health care system, how much more often would this occur? Any Health Net customers should take notice and plan accordingly.

Bates’ attorney William Shernoff said he wanted other insurers to take notice of the award.

“We are going to put a stop to this practice,” he said.

Health Net said it was implementing a freeze on policy cancelations that would last until the company sets up a third-party review panel to scrutinize cases.

“Obviously we regret the way that this has turned out, but we are intent on fixing the processes to maintain the public trust,” spokesman David Olson said.

The award came a day after the Los Angeles city attorney sued Health Net, claiming it illegally canceled the coverage of about 1,600 patients. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo also said the company illegally ran an incentive program in which it paid bonuses to an administrator for meeting targets of policy cancelations.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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