The guidelines are confidential, but the newspaper said it was able to find several posted on the Internet, and they reveal that insurers advise rejecting applicants with diabetes, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, quadriplegia, Parkinson's disease and AIDS/HIV, among many other conditions.
They also recommended automatic rejection of applicants with gallstones, rheumatoid arthritis, alcohol-related problems, chronic bronchitis, severe migraines, those with a cardiac pacemaker installed within the last two years and people who take a wide range of prescription drugs.
Insurers whose guidelines were found on the Web included Vista, Wellpoint, Assurant Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, the newspaper reported.
"The medical underwriting guidelines used by Vista are based on industry standards, comply with all regulations and are subject to review by the Florida Department of Insurance," the company said in an issued statement.
''This is absolutely the standard way of doing business,'' Miami health insurance broker Santiago Leon said.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International.