Court Case Shows How Health Insurers Rip Off You And Your Employer

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan added hidden fees to hospital claims.

If you think you’re paying too much for employer-sponsored health coverage, you might want to forward this to the HR department. It’s possible, maybe even likely, that your health insurer has been ripping off both you and your employer—to the tune of several million dollars every year—for decades.

Many Americans, according to various polls, blame Obamacare for every hike in premiums despite the fact that the rate of

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Health Insurers ‘May Go The Way Of Blockbuster’

Steven Brill believes insurance firms are simply getting in the way of cost control.

Remember Blockbuster?

In its heyday—which wasn’t so long ago—Blockbuster had 60,000 employees and 9,000 locations. For most Americans, for a minute anyway, it was the place to rent a movie.  Then along came Netflix. And Redbox, which operates most of the movie-rental kiosks in convenience and grocery stores.

Before you knew it, Blockbuster was no longer a necessity.  All of a sudden, it seemed, we could

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Consumers Getting ‘Skinned’ by Health Insurers

Bigger premiums, more cost sharing equate to big profits.

The reason health care costs are so high is because Americans don’t have nearly enough “skin in the game.”

That was the phrase that many of my former colleagues in the insurance industry and I began using in the early 2000s as a way to deflect attention away from us.

Americans — especially American employers — looked to private insurers to help control medical costs. But insurers were failing miserably, and

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Elimination of ‘Public Option’ Threw Consumers to the Insurance Wolves

Big firms and their campaign cash found a friend in Joe Lieberman.

When members of Congress caved to demands from the insurance industry and ditched their plan to establish a “public option” health plan, the lawmakers  also ditched one of their favorite talking points, that a government-run plan was necessary to “keep insurers honest.”

Getting rid of a government-run insurance option was the industry’s top objective during the health care reform debate. Private insurers set out to persuade President Obama

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Health Insurers Watch Profits Soar as They dump Small Business Customers

Record stock prices reward investors but leave mom-and-pop firms in the cold.

Several million previously uninsured Americans now have coverage because of Obamacare, but it could be argued that the people who have benefited most from the law—at least financially—are the top executives and shareholders of the country’s health insurance companies.

Among those who apparently have not yet benefited much at all, at least so far, are owners of small businesses who would like to keep offering coverage to

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New Types of Health Care Delivery are Improving the ‘Patient Experience’

Insurers may be part of the problem, not the solution.

Health care provider organizations that are working directly with employers like Boeing —and cutting out the insurance company middlemen— believe they can do more than save money for those employers. They’re confident they can also improve both health care quality and service for workers and their families in ways that insurance companies cannot.

Employers are starting to realize that insurers might not be, as they have claimed,  “part of

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Health Insurers Turning Into Who Knows What?

Squeeze on profits will continue to transform the industry. 

As I wrote last week, one of the nation’s biggest employers — Boeing — is pioneering a concept in providing health care benefits to its employees that eliminates insurance companies as middlemen.

What Boeing is doing represents a seismic shift in health care financing and delivery that potentially will have more far-reaching effects than Obamacare, primarily because it is coming from the private sector, not the government. It is a

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Taking Insurance Companies Out of Health Care

Boeing experiment will be closely watched by business CEOs and insurers alike.

There are many Americans who are beginning to question the contributions big insurance companies make to our health care system. And I’m not just talking about lefty advocates of a single-payer system.  Corporate executives are also wondering why we need the big insurers and whether higher-quality and more cost-effective care could be provided to employees if they didn’t have to deal with health insurers at all.

I wrote

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Defeat of California Iinitiative Would Protect Insurers’ Profits

Proposition 45 would allow state to reject rate hikes.

For the next two months, Californians will to be subjected to a barrage of TV, radio and online ads, which, ironically, they unknowingly will be paying for with their health insurance premiums.

The ads are a part of a multi-pronged, multimillion dollar campaign — developed by public relations, advertising firms and political consultants for the state’s biggest insurers — to convince voters that an initiative on the Nov. 4 ballot designed

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Keeping an Eye on Insurance Companies That Refuse to Pay Claims

All-too-common Arizona case only got resolved following media attention.

After writing a couple weeks back that we need to keep an eye on profit-hungry health insurers to make sure they are not refusing to pay for medically necessary care, I got a flood of emails and tweets from people with stories to share.

That column was published just as Arizona media were reporting that the country’s third largest insurer had told a Phoenix man he would have to pay a

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