Insurance company executive refers to high-cost patients as ‘dogs.’

In the state of New York, insurers are legally prohibited from discriminating against individuals who submit large claims. So when Guardian, a major insurance company, was faced with the high-cost claims of 37 year-old muscular dystrophy patient Ian Pearl, it decided to cancel its entire line of coverage in the state of New York rather than pay for Pearl’s claims. In an e-mail obtained by The Washington Times, it was revealed that one executive at the company refers to patients like Pearl as “dogs” that the company can simply “get rid of”:

Legally barred from discriminating against individuals who submit large claims, the New York-based insurer simply canceled lines of coverage altogether in entire states to avoid paying high-cost claims like Mr. Pearl’s. In an e-mail, one Guardian Life Insurance Co. executive called high-cost patients such as Mr. Pearl “dogs” that the company could “get rid of.”

A federal court quickly ruled that the company’s actions were legal, so on Dec. 1, barring an order by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Mr. Pearl will lose his benefits.

The cost of Pearl’s annual treatment is approximately $1 million a year. The Pearl family is unable to receive the quality health care that Ian needs. “One-on-one skilled nursing is essential,” Mrs. Pearl said.