"This company should be ashamed"

Dateline: Mon 26 Mar 2007

Thanks to Jim Burns for sending the following New York Times story about Conseco. The headlines is "Aged, frail and denied care by their insurers":

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/26/business/26care.html?pagewanted=4&ei=5070&en=1696f698a5803028&ex=1

The story is so disturbing that one doesn't know where to begin. Conseco, never a corporation with a reputation for integrity, stands accused of cheating elderly people out of their financial benefits for assisted living -- benefits faithfully paid for over the years by policy-holders who sincerely believed they were buying insurance against just such a disaster.

Here's how the article by Charles Duhigg begins:

"Mary Rose Derks was a 65-year-old widow in 1990, when she began preparing for the day she could no longer care for herself. Every month, out of her grocery fund, she scrimped together about $100 for an insurance policy that promised to pay eventually for a room in an assisted living home."

But when Mrs. Derks, in 2002, was placed by family and doctors in a nursing home, due to dementia, hypertension and diabetes, Conseco repeatedly denied her claims, sometimes contradicting themselves in their reasoning.

It's a shocking story, and as Burns says, "This piece about Conseco will never appear in your local paper."

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