'Obese' 4-Month-Old Denied Insurance
Nursing infant outside norms for age; 'absurd,' cry parents
By Harry Kimball, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2009 2:04 PM CDT
A baby is weighed in Haiti.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – A Colorado couple is baffled that their baby has been denied health insurance coverage because of a preexisting condition: obesity. “I could understand if we could control what he's eating,” says the boy’s father. “But he's 4 months old. He's breast-feeding. We can't put him on the Atkins diet.” An insurance company exec understands the consternation but tells the Denver Post there’s nothing he can do. “Everybody else in the industry does it.”

Under company rules, individuals who place outside certain norms can’t be covered. Alex Lange is as big as a 9-month-old, in the 99th percentile for both height and weight, well above the 95th percentile cut-off. “If health care reform occurs, underwriting will go away,” the insurance exec says. That’s cold comfort for Alex’s parents, who are both slender and imagine he will be, too, once he starts crawling. “There is just something absurd about denying an infant,” dad says.

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Showing 3 of 46 comments
Oct 16, 2009 6:55 AM CDT
it's out of hand,even if an MD orders a test to rule out a condition,just the coding of the test could add a new diagnoses to your 'permanent record',for an insurance company to deny you insurance for at a later date.
Oct 14, 2009 3:44 AM CDT
Thanks cityeyes. Yes, I was being sarcastic.
Oct 13, 2009 12:46 PM CDT
We should put a sin tax on breast milk.