NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Health insurer WellPoint will implement reforms preventing cancellation of policies except for incidents of fraud, effective May 1 - just one week after coming under fire for allegedly rescinding coverage of customers with breast cancer.
The recently enacted health care reform law disallows the cancellation of policies -- with the exception of cases of fraud or intentional misrepresentation -- starting Sept. 1.
The move came after an April 22 report from Reuters that said Indianapolis-based WellPoint "specifically targeted women with breast cancer for aggressive investigation with the intent to cancel their policies."
Later that day, WellPoint posted a response on its Web site calling the Reuters story "inaccurate and grossly misleading." The statement said fewer than 0.1% of individual members' policies were rescinded in 2009.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent WellPoint a letter on April 22 calling the alleged practice "disturbing," "deplorable" and "unconscionable."
In a response to Sebelius dated April 23, WellPoint chief executive Angela Braly said her company "does not single out women with breast cancer ... Period."
In its statement Wednesday, WellPoint said the so-called rescissions, "while rarely used, are one process for insurers to reduce fraud and protect members." The company did not return a call for further comment.
Investors need someone they can bring home to mother instead of bad boys (or girls) that may make their heart beat faster. Boring beats bold in this market. Here are 10 dependable stocks we love. Southwest (ticker symbol: LUV) is one. More
India's finance minister isn't worried about jobs being lost in the country's manufacturing sector despite warnings that industrial robots will dramatically reduce the need for factory workers in coming decades. More
Women coders do better than men in a gender-blind study that examines GitHub requests. More
Why is Donald Trump missing from Bleacher Creatures' new line of presidential candidates plush dolls? More