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Americans are already accustomed to the extortion (aka, “premiums”) practiced by the health insurance industry. Well, the insurers are taking it a step further and are now offering good, old-fashioned “protection.” The New York Times reports:

For these economically uncertain times, the UnitedHealth Group has a “first of its kind” product: the right to buy an individual health policy at some point in the future even if you become sick.

Called UnitedHealth Continuity, the product is not actual medical insurance, but is aimed at people who may have insurance now but are worried they may lose it — and may not be able to obtain replacement insurance on their own. They may expect to retire early, for example, before they qualify for Medicare. Or they are worried about the possibility of losing their job and their health coverage.

People who are already sick will generally not be eligible for the new product. Those who do pass a medical review, will pay 20 percent each month of the current premium on an individual policy to reserve the right to be insured under the plan at some point in the future.

Amazing that we now have to pay for the right to buy health insurance. Some ambitious DA needs to throw the RICO Act at these guys.

UnitedHealth to Insure the Right to Insurance
Reed Abelson
The New York Times
December 2, 2008