Kaiser Health Discriminates Against Wheelchair Users And People With Disabilities – Class Action
Non-profit healthcare program organization Kaiser Health, along with other defendants, is being accused in a recent class action of discriminating against people with disabilities by not providing adequate coverage for its patients who use wheelchairs in their health insurance plans with the company.
Kaiser Health Planholders With Disabilities Sue The Company
Filed in a California court, the Kaiser Health Wheelchair Class Action Lawsuit is a case raised by complainants Grace Smith and Russel Rawlings against Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and the state of California’s Managed Health Care office.
Both Smith and Rawlings, who happen to use wheelchairs, contend that their rights were violated under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Affordable Care Act.
They retain that both Kaiser and the California Managed Health Care Department violated the aforementioned laws by not allowing coverage concerning wheelchairs and not considering wheelchairs as a valid item under the essential health benefit category.
The two share that Kaiser ended up placing a limit on their health plans due to them using a wheelchair. In fact, the healthcare company ended up placing a rule that only allows wheelchairs for house use and a yearly limitation set at $2,000 on both of them.
People With Disabilities Are Being Discriminated Against By Kaiser’s Policies
The class action posits that Kaiser and the other defendants in the case have put people with disabilities and users of wheelchairs like the plaintiffs in the case in a highly disadvantaged position.
It is said that the actual medical-related costs for people with disabilities using wheelchairs go up to tens of thousands of dollars. Kaiser health plan holders end up paying a large sum of the fees out of pocket to get the care they need.
However, some ended looking for other healthcare providers that could cover their wheelchair needs. In the worst-case scenario, there is a handful that does not have the money to resort to any of the first two options, which leads to them not getting the personal mobility they need.
In Smith and Rawlings’s case, both badly need to upgrade their wheelchairs and may end up paying thousands of dollars out of pocket to get the medical care they deserve.
The Kaiser Health Wheelchair Class Action Lawsuit is looking to take Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and other defendants to court for their alleged misdeeds.
Along with the official class action filing, a Class group consisting of similarly situated individuals residing in California is forwarded to the court.
About The Company
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. is a non-profit business that operates in Oakland, California. Founded in 1955, the company offers a range of medical services, including but not limited to hospice, oncology, and others.
Editor’s Note on Kaiser Health Wheelchair Class Action Lawsuit:
This feature discusses the class action case and charges raised against Kaiser Health and others for they are allegedly discriminatory against people with disabilities. Simlarly, we also suggest you read the UnitedHealthcare Liposuction Settlement.
Case Name(s) & No.: Grace Smith, et al. v. Mary Watanabe, et al.; Case No.: 3:21-cv-077872
Jurisdiction: United States (U.S.) District Court for the Northern District of California
Allegation(s): People with disabilities, especially those with mobility issues and who are using wheelchairs as support, were being discriminated against by Kaiser.
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