DENVER, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- A Colorado insurance company will drop a ban on providing health coverage for infants considered to weigh too much for their length, a company spokeswoman said.
The policy drew national attention with news reports about 4-month-old Alex Lange, whose family applied for healthcare coverage last week with Rocky Mountain Health Plans, based in Grand Junction, Colo. The family had coverage with another company but Alex's father, Bernie Lange, said the premiums were rising and he was looking for a better situation.
"My insurance broker called me last week and said, 'we can cover you, but your baby is apparently too fat,'" Bernie Lange told ABC News.
Alex Lange is 25 inches long and weighs about 17 pounds -- which puts him in the 99th percentile for height and weight for his age, going by guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rocky Mountain Health Plans has been using the guidelines and its underwriters concluded Alex Lange had a pre-existing condition when they decided to deny coverage for him, because he was above the 95th percentile and was considered to be obese.
Rocky Mountain Health Plans spokeswoman Kayla Arnesen told ABC News the company reviewed its policy, focusing on a basic question.
"Should we be denying coverage for healthy babies just because they are above the 95th percentile?" Arnesen said. "It doesn't make good sense, it doesn't make good policy, and we're not going to do it."