The epitome of an Econ-Atrocity: health insurance sicko as can be

It’s hard to think of something that counts as an “econ-atrocity” more than the health insurance industry’s practice of paying bonuses to employees who meet targets for cancelling policies of sick customers or refusing to cover the care that the customers need. My uncle sent me this link to the latest revelation published in the LA Times:

Health insurer tied bonuses to dropping sick policyholders

By Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 9, 2007
One of the state’s largest health insurers set goals and paid bonuses based in part on how many individual policyholders were dropped and how much money was saved.

Woodland Hills-based Health Net Inc. avoided paying $35.5 million in medical expenses by rescinding about 1,600 policies between 2000 and 2006. During that period, it paid its senior analyst in charge of cancellations more than $20,000 in bonuses based in part on her meeting or exceeding annual targets for revoking policies, documents disclosed Thursday showed.

As my uncle put in his email’s subject line, “did somebody say, ‘single-payer health plan?'”