What happens if an elderly person mistakenly cancels their health insurance?

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What happens if an elderly person mistakenly cancels their health insurance?

My 91 year old father-in-law wanted to cancel his pharmaceutical portion of his health insurance. His 95 year old wife is on the same plan. He may have been confused by the person when he was asked about stopping his medication so he also ended up accidentally cancelling his health insurance. Beyond the ethical part of this question, is it reasonable to think that a 91 and 95 year old would want to cancel their health insurance? The company will not reinstate the insurance. He was just trying to save them money on medications. Can anything be done?

Asked on July 19, 2011 under Insurance Law, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry.  These matters can be so difficult even for those that are not elderly.  First, is your father-in-law of sound mind?  Does he have someone who overlooks his finances and has a health care proxy and POA for him?  If he has a conservator even better.  I am thinking that this may be a way to have it reinstated but it may be a requirement to have the POA on file somewhere.  As for your Mother in Law, you may be able to argue he had no authority to cancel hers.  Otherwise I would without a doubt contact the Department of Insurance in your state and explain the situation.  Insurance companies have to answer to the DEpartment of Insurance.  Explain that they were not clear and that they cancelled the wrong portion of the policy.  Good luck to you.


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