Family responds to health insurer's attack and wins
In 1981, Ian Pearl's father bought health insurance on his family. It was the best move he ever made, as Ian was born with muscular dystrophy and has been "fighting 24/7" to survive, ever since. He is wheelchair bound, uses a ventilator, and requires 24 hour-per-day medical support. Despite these burdens and limitations, the 37 -year old was elected President of his high school class and has been an active advocate for the disabled.
Last December, Guardian Life Insurance decided that several expensive insureds like Ian were "dogs" the company needed to discard for profitability, and it notified Ian that his coverage would be dropped. This would have been a death sentence for Ian most likely, however, he and his family fought back. They lobbied and sought media attention for the plight of insureds like Ian, and eventually drew the attention of state legislators and Guardian Life's corporate executives.
State legislators have introduced a bill to prevent insurers from dumping expensive insureds, and in an attempt to dampen the furor, Guardian LIfe has now apologized and reinstated coverage to Ian and two other "dogs". It still plans to discontinue coverage to another class of expensive insureds, however, so only the "squeaky wheel" is getting greased, apparently. Congratulations to Ian and his mother, Susan Pearl, for fighting back and bringing attention to this problem. And here's hoping Guardian LIfe executives some day learn a degree of empathy for the "dogs" they gambled on and lost. Some "Guardian", huh?