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Baby 'Too Fat' for Health Insurance

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No, we are not making this up.

Alex Lange

Four-month-old Alex Lange can't get health insurance ... because he's "too fat." His pre-existing condition? Obesity!

He measures 25 inches long and weighs 17 pounds. His height and weight put him in the 99th percentile, and Rocky Mountain Health Plans has turned him down over his weight.

"I could understand if we could control what he's eating. But he's 4 months old. He's breastfeeding. We can't put him on the Atkins diet or on a treadmill," joked his frustrated father, Bernie Lange, a part-time news anchor at KKCO-TV in Grand Junction. "There is just something absurd about denying an infant."

Alex's parents were told insurers don't take babies above the 95th percentile, no matter how healthy.

This just makes us BEYOND angry. How about you?

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Brazilian baby Ademilton Ramos dos Santos weighed 16.7 pounds on his birthday, looking more like a six-month-old than a newborn.

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36 comments so far | Post a comment now
chris October 12, 2009, 12:41 PM

Both of my kids were always at the top of the pecentile chart and they have never been denied health insurance. I have never heard of such a thing. My husband put them on his insurance as soon as they were born and I don’t think the insurance company ever personally look in on thier charts. I’m not sure if we are getting the full story here because something doesn’t sound right.

Tina October 12, 2009, 1:31 PM

On the Colorado Health Insurance Plans website, they posted this just today in response to this article:

However, I still cannot believe that this was even in their policy to begin with.

Why should underwriting even be an issue for infants?

Lessa October 12, 2009, 1:38 PM

I don’t know about this instance, but Chris is talking about group insurance, which it is often different. Those of us who need to buy our insurance as individuals or families can, in some states, be denied for anything. I’m self-employed and have to buy my own health insurance. The first question Humana asked me on the phone was my weight and immediately turned me down. Which makes me mad enough (they wouldn’t have asked how much I drink alcohol or do drugs until farther into the process but they don’t test so they have no way of proving that so alcholics and drug addicts simply lie and get insurance), but for a baby who is breast-feeding? That’s ridiculous! They can also turn you down for the number of medications you take. For instance, I took medication for birth control, allergies, acidic stomach, asthma, depression, and anxiety, so both Anthem and Humana (two of only three or four health insurers in Kentucky) turned me down. What’s really stupid? Those medications *keep* me healthy! If I went off of them all for long enough and procured insurance through one of those companies, they would then have to pay for my unplanned pregnancies and/or uterine fibroids, holes in my esophagus and other parts of my digestive system from acid, many trips to the ER for asthma/allergy attacks, and constant nervous breakdowns.

Eric October 12, 2009, 1:42 PM

It’s not absurd at all if you subscribe to the view that medicine should be a for-profit business. Apparently, insuring fat babies isn’t a lucrative business.

I wonder if these parents support or oppose single-payer. That would be funny if they were conservative Republicans who just couldn’t make the connection.

chris October 12, 2009, 2:20 PM

You’re right Lessa, I was talking about group health insurance. I guess because that is the only kind of insurance that myself or my family has had, I didn’t even think about self paid insurance so for that I am sorry. If that is the case than yes I find it appalling.

Kristen October 12, 2009, 3:00 PM

This is HORRIBLE!! WE NEED REFORM!! We need to MAKE the insurance companies cover EVERY BODY. It’s sad that our country values money more than peoples lives. I do not believe in a socialist society but I do believe that we should have certain things in place to make our society better, social security and health insurance are just some of those.

Breastfeeding Mommy October 12, 2009, 3:33 PM

Eric, you are an a$$. That is not a “FAT” baby, it is a healthy, breastfed baby. Of course, you wouldn’t understand that. Why are you even on MOM Logic anyway?… go find somewhere else to comment.

C October 12, 2009, 5:24 PM

Eric, don’t go find somewhere else to comment. Your input is welcome here.

Take a moment to regain your composure, Breastfeeding Mommy. Count to 10.

Anonymous October 12, 2009, 5:29 PM

I saw this couple on a tv interview and I’m alittle confuse. They mention that they tried to put the baby on an indepencent insurance. Is the rest of the family not insured? Does the father who works not have insurance through his work that would cover his family?

mary SD October 12, 2009, 5:47 PM

I read on another article that the fathers employee insurance was raised 40% so they were trying to get private insurance that wouldn’t cost as much. Its ridiculous that they would deny a baby. When my son was 5 I had lost my health insurance due to switch in jobs and we tried to get private thru Kaiser and my son was denied because of abnormal height and weight. He is and always has been tall and thin and completely healthy. I was the same way as a child. I just don’t get it some times. I can see maybe denying and adult with pre existing conditions but not a child.

Caroline October 12, 2009, 6:13 PM

Chill Breastfeeding Mommy, Eric was clearly being sarcastic.

also, that baby is so big!

Dave Walls October 12, 2009, 6:15 PM

Looks like the insurance industry got caught with there pants down on this one. This type of stuff occurs all the time. It’s time for people fighting any Health Care reform to get there head out of there butt crack and look what is going on around them!!!!! The parents of this baby would still be fighting and wondering if someone was going to help them if it weren’t for the fact that one of this baby’s parents worked for a media outlet that was able to get the word out on the situation. That is the error this insurance company made and believing other wise would be as gullible as an evangelical flopping on the stage after being pushed in the forehead at a Benny Hinn sermon.

Jennifer October 12, 2009, 10:24 PM

When my daughter was one, my husband went back to school. So, we had to get private insurance for her, Aetna wanted to put a lifetime exclusion on her (R) arm because she had a hairline fracture at 11 months when she fell off the bed. She was immediately treated and her orthro. doctor said she was fine. I tried BlueCross/BlueShield and they put a seven year exclusion on her hips since she was born with hip dysplasia. (which 4 out of every 1000 babies are born hip dysplasia). She was immediately placed in a plavik harness for the first three months of her life. Her hip is fine and she was discharged after her final x-ray proved that her hip was fine. So, my point is YES, health insurance companies are denying babies from insurance and/or putting exclusions on them. WE NEED REFORM!!!

Bonnie the Joomla Designer October 12, 2009, 10:52 PM

This is insane! I have a 3-year-old son who is over the 100th percentile. Yes, he’s a big boy. But so was his dad and uncles and they grew up to be toothpicks! I agree with the cry, WE NEED REFORM!!

Anonymous October 12, 2009, 10:56 PM

insurance companies are bloody thieves and should be stopped from robbing people

Croquet Balls October 13, 2009, 1:47 AM

These 16 oz croquet balls are made of Composite materials so are longer lasting and they conform to all regulations

mrshmlow October 13, 2009, 4:49 AM

All three of my babies were JUST as “fat” as this sweet little fellow, and I was an exclusively breastfeeding mom as well. Must be a NATURAL occurrence and probably very HEALTHY or it wouldn’t happen that way. BTW, all my kids are lean and still healthy today.

Anonymous October 13, 2009, 5:03 AM

Well in Europe they have universal health care france, brazil, england ,canada just to name a few and they don’t pay anything for health insurance and or drug companies for america is the only place we pay and that didnt start until Nixon the evil B-word put that into our lives before nixon we to had free healthcare and no drug companies to pay medicine fact read our history books. Nixon partners with drug companies and health insurance to make it and he got paid well from them. Think back what is wrong with all those people who died from not getting medical care because of this one man Mr. Nixon he is a mass murder can kills every time someone cant pay we the people just doesn’t exist anymore now its we the corporation of america and europeans can’t believe poor health care in america a british couple came to hear vacationing in san diego califonia and had to go the hospital and had to pay for healthcare they were appalled and norway doesn’t even promote there country to visit american but he they do at there own risk if they fall victum to what we allow everyday since Nixon established this. When will we become we the people again and what we do matters. Never people are to set or plain scared so they complain in forums like these and do nothing actions speak louder than words i always do but one can not make a change for the billions that stay quiet. Saying how appalled but never making changing’s to fix it here asomething i do i write to the government officials and get petitons for overhaulin congression and giving the people the power of there voice back but i am one when will you women do something. Talk is cheap actions speak louder and i may be one but i do something to fight our healthcare but what do you guys do nothing but voice complaints to each other nothing!!!!!

mrshmlow October 13, 2009, 5:23 AM

I beg to differ.. what makes you ASSume that just because people post of their situations here that they do nothing otherwise. That’s just plain foolish.

anonymous October 13, 2009, 5:30 AM

brovo anonymous, the government is going to do what ever they want until the people make a stand so until your all ready to do something about it shut up.

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