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Health Insurers

Court Case Shows How Health Insurers Rip off You and Your Employer

Wendell Potter | Posted 05.12.2015 | Politics
Wendell Potter

You might want to suggest that your employer look into this. 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.

Why Health Insurers May Be Destined to Follow Blockbuster Into Irrelevance

Wendell Potter | Posted 05.04.2015 | Politics
Wendell Potter

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.

Energy Firms, Health Insurers Deftly Use Others to Spread Propaganda

Wendell Potter | Posted 06.13.2015 | Politics
Wendell Potter

While we know how much insurers and oil and gas companies dole out to political campaigns and lobbyists, we don't have a clue how much of their cash is used to establish front groups or how much of it winds up in the pockets of either pundits for hire or tax-exempt organizations that do their bidding.

It's Clear Now the Public Option Really Was Needed to Keep Insurers Honest

Wendell Potter | Posted 04.18.2015 | Politics
Wendell Potter

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."

Health Insurers (and Their Shareholders) Win Midterm Election!

Wendell Potter | Posted 01.10.2015 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Insurers know the president won't allow the law to be repealed or even altered substantially, which will be good for future profits, and they also know they can count on the Republicans to push through legislation to get rid of the health plan tax and let them sell low-value policies again.

Obamacare Is Making a Difference, But Here's What We Must Tackle Next

Wendell Potter | Posted 12.07.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

We still spend more per capita on health care than any other country. In that sense, the law doesn't do enough to address the "real cost drivers" of medical inflation.

Improving the 'Patient Experience' By Eliminating the Big Insurance Company

Wendell Potter | Posted 11.29.2014 | Business
Wendell Potter

Employers are starting to realize that insurers might not be, as they have claimed, "part of the solution" to achieving a more patient-centered health care system. In fact, in some ways they have been part of the problem.

Insurers Using Familiar Playbook to Protect Profits in California

Wendell Potter | Posted 11.02.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

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.

Why Health Care Costs So Much: Both Parties Suck at Teat of Medical-Industrial Complex

Wendell Potter | Posted 10.25.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Will Congress act to save taxpayers billions of dollars -- and protect the solvency of the Medicare programs -- by taking on the AMA, the drugmakers and the insurers? Don't hold your breath.

Skyrocketing Health Insurer CEOs' Paychecks Are "Crazy," Says Executive Comp Expert

Wendell Potter | Posted 08.09.2014 | Business
Wendell Potter

Almost all of the publicly traded health insurers reported big increases in revenue and profits last year. The big winners have been the top executives of those companies, led by Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, the nation's third largest health insurer.

Making Insurers Do the Right Thing Saves Us Billions

Wendell Potter | Posted 07.27.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

The first time I blew the whistle on health insurance companies was during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in June 2009. Last Wednesday, almost five years later, I appeared before that committee again to give a progress report on how Americans have been benefiting since Congress enacted reforms in 2010 that changed the way insurance companies operate.

Health Insurers Using Playbook Again to Protect Profits at Expense of Consumers

Wendell Potter | Posted 07.12.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

About 35 states have given their insurance departments the legal power of prior approval of proposed health insurance rate changes. California is not among them, and advocates believe the state's residents are paying more for their health insurance coverage than necessary.

Why It's More Important Than Ever to Keep an Eye on Health Insurers

Wendell Potter | Posted 07.05.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

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.

As Medical Claim Denials Increase, Be Prepared to Be a Squeaky Wheel

Wendell Potter | Posted 06.21.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

With profit margins under pressure because of Obamacare, insurers likely will be denying more of your claims and inserting themselves even more between you and your doctor when it comes to medically necessary care, but you should never take a "no" as the final answer.

Tomorrow Is D-Day for Health Insurers: The Beginning of Disintermediation

Wendell Potter | Posted 11.30.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

I've often said that the Affordable Care Act is the end of the beginning of reform. Starting tomorrow, October 1, 2014, that law will signify the beginning of the end of the health insurance industry as we know it.

Why No One Should Lose Sleep Because Big Insurers Are Taking a Pass on Exchanges

Wendell Potter | Posted 09.01.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Some critics of the reform law are suggesting that if the big companies aren't willing to sell policies on all the exchanges, Obamacare is somehow fatally flawed. But I think we'll all be just as well off if the big companies stay out of the individual and small group market.

Trickery in Missouri Shows How Insurers Enhance Their Profits

Wendell Potter | Posted 08.24.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is facing a dilemma. Should he sign a bill that was intended to help many state residents get coverage for cost-effective health care that insurers often refuse to pay for? Or veto the bill because it is loaded with amendments that will benefit insurers?

Recasting the Medical Morality Play

Jim Jaffe | Posted 04.30.2013 | Politics
Jim Jaffe

Many Americans have an unhelpful habit of viewing the health reform debate as a morality play where those who treat us -- usually doctors and hospital...

Producers Still Needed in Hollywood, But in Health Care Their Days Are Numbered

Wendell Potter | Posted 04.27.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

A recent story out of Oklahoma shows just how vital investigative journalists are -- and how health insurance agents and brokers may be anything but vital in just a matter of months.

Getting Young People to Work Against Their Own Best Interests: Here's How It's Done

Wendell Potter | Posted 03.30.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

America's Health Insurance Plans, the industry's big PR and lobbying group, has rolled out a slick campaign aimed at getting Congress to gut some of ObamaCare's most important consumer protections.

Why You Should Be Sick of Secret Health Insurer Politicking

Jack Ucciferri | Posted 10.07.2012 | Politics
Jack Ucciferri

The majority of Americans believe that secret corporate money in politics is a bad thing for democracy, but what about the real life (and death) impacts on the millions of people who passively own part of the company and/or purchase its services?

Small Businesses to Get IOUs From Health Insurers

John Arensmeyer | Posted 07.02.2012 | Small Business
John Arensmeyer

By holding insurance companies accountable for how they spend Americans' premium dollars, the Affordable Care Act is improving upon the coverage market as we know it.

Health Insurer To Pay Big Over Whistleblower Claims Of Overcharging

Reuters | Posted 05.23.2012 | Business

March 23 (Reuters) - WellCare Health Plans Inc said on Friday that a $137.5 million deal to settle a whistleblower suit became effe...

What Happens When Banks Cozy Up To Insurers

Posted 02.27.2012 | Business

By Cora Currier ProPublica A class-action lawsuit in Florida that moved forward this week highlights a little-appreciated aspect of the housing m...

A Determined Dog Goes After Insurers Again to Save Consumers Billions

Wendell Potter | Posted 01.14.2012 | Politics
Wendell Potter

If there is one organization that insurers despise and fear more than any other, it surely must be Consumer Watchdog.