Ladies, are you considering the IUD? Do you have the IUD? Are you thinking about having it removed? You might have some trouble.
A 36-year-old West Seattle woman decided she and her partner were ready for another child and wanted to have her IUD removed, but her insurance company, Regence BlueShield, refused to cover it. Because the procedure wasn't medically required, they thought they'd found a loophole.
The woman wasn't taking no for an answer. She took her case to the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
Surprisingly, perhaps, hers was the only complaint against the company. But with a little research, the OIC found 984 more cases of women who were denied coverage for IUD removal. The other women had opted to pay for the procedure themselves.
Regence Blue Shield was ordered by the court to pay the women back for the procedures, a sum totaling almost $150,000. On top of that, they tacked on a $100,000 fine and 8 percent interest to each of the women.
“We wanted to make sure they understood and other companies understood that they had a duty to do due diligence when there's a new law,” said Stephanie Marquis, spokeswoman for the insurance commissioner's office.