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Archive for the ‘Health Insurance’ Category

Not Wellpoint Again?

There are times when you get an overview and then it hits you, “Somethings just don’t add up.” Well, you remember Wellpoint, don’t you? This is the friendly company that, around January or February, announced it was going to increase premium rates by up to 39% in a number of states around the Union. President Obama got himself all worked up, citing them as the real reason why all the Democrats in Washington should band together and take a stand against the insurance industry. Then, sure as eggs is eggs, there was a stampede to get the healthcare reform bill to the President for him to sign it into law. Those Democrats sure did have fun beating on Wellpoint. So the big question is what happened next? Here’s one of the largest corporations in the insurance market demanding premium increases. Did it get its way? The answer starts off in California where the maximum rate of 39% was due to take effect. The state referred the proposed increase to independent auditors for an opinion. The answer came back negative. It seemed Wellpoint couldn’t add up. Well, that’s oversimplifying things a little. But the reality is that the numbers Wellpoint offered to support their premium increases were based on some very shaky mathematical assumptions. When news of the report became public, Wellpoint withdrew the proposed increase. Acting on this, Kathleen Sebelius who is Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services sent out a letter to all state insurance commissioners encouraging them to review every proposed premium increase. This is the first sign that the balance of power is shifting against the insurance industry and in favor of the consumer. For too long, insurance companies have hidden behind complicated mathematical explanations and gamed the system. With the Affordable Care Act now law, Sebelius is encouraging every state to give itself the power to approve rate increases. The first sign of continuing good news for consumers comes out of Connecticut where Attorney General Blumental forced an audit of Blue Shield and Anthem Blue Cross, both Wellpoint subsidiaries. Connecticut’s Insurance Commissioner Sullivan rejected these companies requests for increases last year. It seems likely the same thing will happen this year. By moving so quickly to encourage states to review all proposed rate increases, Secretary Sebelius is demonstrating one of the key advantages now available to the Federal Government under the new laws. That the interests of the consumer will be put before the interests of the health insurance industry. This means every state should be going through a routine of analysis every time premium rate increases are proposed. The assumptions, evidence, claims histories and trends asserted should all be rigorously tested. If there are any problems, the increases should be denied. The aim should always be to ensure affordable individual health insurance plans are available to the majority of people living in the US. For too long, the insurers have been allowed to bamboozle regulators with math and complicated explanations. With independent audits now coming into play, the kind of success enjoyed by the citizens of California should be felt around the US.

About Author
If you are interested in the point of view expressed by Norris Rios, visit http://www.hiinetwork.com/individual-health-insurance-premium-hikes-unjustified.html for more of his professional writing on a whole array of topics that relate people all around the world.

Not Wellpoint Again?

There are times when you get an overview and then it hits you, “Somethings just don’t add up.” Well, you remember Wellpoint, don’t you? This is the friendly company that, around January or February, announced it was going to increase premium rates by up to 39% in a number of states around the Union. President Obama got himself all worked up, citing them as the real reason why all the Democrats in Washington should band together and take a stand against the insurance industry. Then, sure as eggs is eggs, there was a stampede to get the healthcare reform bill to the President for him to sign it into law. Those Democrats sure did have fun beating on Wellpoint. So the big question is what happened next? Here’s one of the largest corporations in the insurance market demanding premium increases. Did it get its way? The answer starts off in California where the maximum rate of 39% was due to take effect. The state referred the proposed increase to independent auditors for an opinion. The answer came back negative. It seemed Wellpoint couldn’t add up. Well, that’s oversimplifying things a little. But the reality is that the numbers Wellpoint offered to support their premium increases were based on some very shaky mathematical assumptions. When news of the report became public, Wellpoint withdrew the proposed increase. Acting on this, Kathleen Sebelius who is Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services sent out a letter to all state insurance commissioners encouraging them to review every proposed premium increase. This is the first sign that the balance of power is shifting against the insurance industry and in favor of the consumer. For too long, insurance companies have hidden behind complicated mathematical explanations and gamed the system. With the Affordable Care Act now law, Sebelius is encouraging every state to give itself the power to approve rate increases. The first sign of continuing good news for consumers comes out of Connecticut where Attorney General Blumental forced an audit of Blue Shield and Anthem Blue Cross, both Wellpoint subsidiaries. Connecticut’s Insurance Commissioner Sullivan rejected these companies requests for increases last year. It seems likely the same thing will happen this year. By moving so quickly to encourage states to review all proposed rate increases, Secretary Sebelius is demonstrating one of the key advantages now available to the Federal Government under the new laws. That the interests of the consumer will be put before the interests of the health insurance industry. This means every state should be going through a routine of analysis every time premium rate increases are proposed. The assumptions, evidence, claims histories and trends asserted should all be rigorously tested. If there are any problems, the increases should be denied. The aim should always be to ensure affordable individual health insurance plans are available to the majority of people living in the US. For too long, the insurers have been allowed to bamboozle regulators with math and complicated explanations. With independent audits now coming into play, the kind of success enjoyed by the citizens of California should be felt around the US.

About Author
If you are interested in the point of view expressed by Norris Rios, visit http://www.hiinetwork.com/individual-health-insurance-premium-hikes-unjustified.html for more of his professional writing on a whole array of topics that relate people all around the world.

Chamber Opposes Dental, Workers’ Comp Bills.: An article from: Arkansas Business

Product Description
This digital document is an article from Arkansas Business, published by Journal Publishing, Inc. on February 19, 2001. The length of the article is 331 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Digital Locker immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.

Citation Details
Title: Chamber Opposes Dent… More >>

Chamber Opposes Dental, Workers’ Comp Bills.: An article from: Arkansas Business

A Bite Out of Crime.: An article from: Risk & Insurance

Product Description
This digital document is an article from Risk & Insurance, published by Axon Group on June 1, 1999. The length of the article is 438 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Digital Locker immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.

Citation Details
Title: A Bite Out of Crime.(Brief Article)
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A Bite Out of Crime.: An article from: Risk & Insurance

Will The Premiums Rise?

Now that President Obama has signed the healthcare reform bill into law, the dust kicked up by the battle is now slowly starting to settle. There is still fighting, but it has moved on to different ground. In this time of calm, we have the chance to reflect on what has been achieved and to speculate on how the insurance market will change. As we set out on this brief survey, we should remember it was the insurers raising their rates that gave the final encouragement to the lawmakers. Without that, they might have lost their nerve in this year of the midterm elections. The new insurance exchanges are to be in place by 2014. Once they are in operation, the premiums people pay will be capped. For those who earn less than four times the poverty level (at current dollar values, this is $88,000 for a family of four) the maximum will be 9.5% of their income as a premium. For those on or below the poverty level, the maximum will be 3% of their income. The government will subsidize people above their capped level of payment. This creates an interesting dynamic. With the government paying the difference, will the insurers try to hike the premium rates?

The answer is difficult. The premium is supposed to cover the medical costs, run the business, and leave a reasonable profit for the investors. In theory, the Administration has made a deal with the pharmaceutical industry to keep down the cost of drugs. Groups of hospitals have also promised some restraint. This should stabilize the medical costs. Now it all comes down to controlling the insurers’ greed. This is attempted through a few rules. Insurers cannot charge older people more than three times the rate for younger people. The insurers must give rebates if they spend more than 20% of your premiums on non-medical costs. And there are reviews of premium increases with states having the power to exclude health plans where the increases are not justified.

Why is the answer difficult? Because no matter what it says on paper, we have to wait to see it working in the real world. Naturally, the President expects premiums to be stable or fall over time. But the insurance companies have never been completely rational when it comes to pricing their health insurance plans. Their philosophy has been to maximize the profit from both individual and group health insurance. Indeed, their greed was all too clearly on display early this year with major premium increases announced. Ironically, this proved a misjudgement because the President used these increases as a justification for pushing through the reform measures. If the insurers had held off or only asked for modest increases, the Democrat lawmakers might have lost their nerve and the bill would have failed. This opens the possibility the insurers might continue an aggressive policy to increase premiums and challenge the government to intervene. Since the Administration has been slow to take on the bankers over their bonuses, the politicians may be similarly reluctant to take on the investors in health insurance companies. In Ancient China, the words, “May he live in interesting times” was a curse. Sometimes, we seem to be living in interesting times today.

About Author
Irma Sanchez is always ready to share his professional point of view on a topic. To see what Irma Sanchez has written about other things visit http://www.getcheaphealthinsurance.net/health-insurance-following-the-reform-bill.html.

Dental plans fund accreditation project.: An article from: National Underwriter … & Casualty-Risk & Benefits Management

Product Description
This digital document is an article from National Underwriter Property & Casualty-Risk & Benefits Management, published by The National Underwriter Company on April 27, 1998. The length of the article is 626 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Digital Locker immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.

Citation DetailsMore >>

Dental plans fund accreditation project.: An article from: National Underwriter … & Casualty-Risk & Benefits Management

Dental coverage can reduce costs of benefits. : An article from: National Underwriter Property & Casualty-Risk & Benefits Management

Product Description
This digital document is an article from National Underwriter Property & Casualty-Risk & Benefits Management, published by The National Underwriter Company on December 2, 1991. The length of the article is 768 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Digital Locker immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.

Citation Details… More >>

Dental coverage can reduce costs of benefits. : An article from: National Underwriter Property & Casualty-Risk & Benefits Management

What is a Life Insurance Special Events Benefit?

Most New Zealand life insurance plans include a free feature called a “Special Events Increase”. This can be a vital part of life insurance – we’ll take a quick look at how it works.

Let’s say you have a life insurance policy that is worth $400,000. Then, because you have increased your mortgage, you want to increase your life insurance by $100,000. Usually, in this situation, you would need to provide information about your current health to the insurer (by completing a new application). The insurer would then assess this information and increase your cover. Often this is simple, however if you have experienced any health issues since you originally started your life insurance, the insurer might not allow you to make the increase (or they might allow the increase, but only at a much higher than usual premium). The reason for this is that any increase is treated by the insurer as a brand new application – which they might or might not approve.

However if your policy has a “Special Events” benefit, you can increase your cover without having to provide any health information at all to the insurer. So you’d simply make a request for the insurer to increase the insurance, and you wouldn’t have to complete an application form. And the most important part is that even if you’ve suffered a health issue, the insurer can’t deny your increase, or charge you higher than usual premiums. Even in situations where a person has become very ill, the Special Events benefit means that they are guaranteed to be able to increase their cover if a special event arises (typical special events are taking out a mortgage, having a child, moving house etc).

Special Events benefits have some limitations – there is usually a cap on the amount of the increase you can make, and people over a certain age are not eligible – however this can be an extremely useful benefit. So, if you’re thinking about starting a life insurance plan, make sure any plan you’re considering includes this.

About Author
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