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Insurer Must Pay $9.3M to Cancer Patient

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By Admin on February 25, 2008 7:31 AM

A health insurance provider must pay more than $9.3 million after wrongfully rescinding the policy of a Los Angeles woman who had been diagnosed with cancer. The order came as part of a binding arbitration award in a claim brought by breast cancer patient Patsy Bates against her former health insurer Health Net, Inc. According to the Arbitration Award, which includes more than $8 million in punitive damages, Bates had over $129,000 in unpaid medical bills. Arbitrator (and retired Los Angeles County Superior Court judge) Sam Cianchetti wrote that "It is hard to imagine a situation more trying than the one Bates has had to endure." The Los Angeles Times calls the ruling "the first of its kind" and "the most powerful rebuke to the state's major insurers whose cancellation practices are under fire from the courts, state regulators and elected officials."