blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

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kiryan
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blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

Postby kiryan » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:46 pm

http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/04/news/co ... m?hpt=Sbin

Blue Shield of California said an independent review of its proposed premium hikes -- totaling as high as 59% -- found that the rates are "reasonable [and] not excessive."

==state commission is still reviewing it but has hired an actuary to investigate the independent audit.
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Re: blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:23 am

I'm sure the profit margins and the public accounting surely must be enough confirmation.

But here's to starting investigations for purely political reasons!
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Re: blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

Postby kiryan » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:08 pm

They withdrew the rate increase...

http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/16/news/co ... m?hpt=Sbin

Tom Epstein, spokesman for Blue Shield, said the company had seen some backlash in recent weeks.

"It was becoming a major distraction," he said. "So we decided we would risk losing money in order to get the attention of the public back on what's really driving up health care costs, and that's rising medical costs. Health reform, we believe, will help manage those costs."

== something don't smell right here. Backlash from whom? consumers? I suppose that could be the case, you raise rates, more of the healthier people on the plan will drop and the unhealthy continue to stay on the plan resulting on even higher rates...

I peronally assume the backlash was political. Something along the lines of you do this and we'll make you pay every time you have to file any paperwork with state or federal authorities... and we'll investigate every single complaint anyone ever makes again.
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Re: blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

Postby Ragorn » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:34 pm

Private insurance companies are for-profit seeking jackasses, news at 11.
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Re: blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

Postby Pril » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:29 pm

kiryan wrote:They withdrew the rate increase...

http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/16/news/co ... m?hpt=Sbin

Tom Epstein, spokesman for Blue Shield, said the company had seen some backlash in recent weeks.

"It was becoming a major distraction," he said. "So we decided we would risk losing money in order to get the attention of the public back on what's really driving up health care costs, and that's rising medical costs. Health reform, we believe, will help manage those costs."

== something don't smell right here. Backlash from whom? consumers? I suppose that could be the case, you raise rates, more of the healthier people on the plan will drop and the unhealthy continue to stay on the plan resulting on even higher rates...

I peronally assume the backlash was political. Something along the lines of you do this and we'll make you pay every time you have to file any paperwork with state or federal authorities... and we'll investigate every single complaint anyone ever makes again.



Actually I'd say not so much the individual consumer as large companies threatening to pull their accounts.
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Re: blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

Postby kiryan » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:42 pm

pretty sure these were idnividual policies.
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Re: blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

Postby Ashiwi » Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:00 am

It was the individual policy holders. BlueShield of California is a publically traded company and is looking to turn a profit. The cost of medical care, especially in California, is obscene.

What I'll be interested in seeing is how the insurance companies manipulate their numbers once they're required to justify per-dollar costs for administrative expenses when they're asking for increases like this.
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Re: blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:35 pm

Ashiwi wrote:It was the individual policy holders. BlueShield of California is a publically traded company and is looking to turn a profit. The cost of medical care, especially in California, is obscene.

What I'll be interested in seeing is how the insurance companies manipulate their numbers once they're required to justify per-dollar costs for administrative expenses when they're asking for increases like this.

And yet their profit margins are quite low.
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Re: blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

Postby kiryan » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:59 pm

/agree Teflor, but there is more than one way to hide profits and sometimes that just means overpaying your executives.
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Re: blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:01 am

Please, no matter how much you overpay your executives, you can't hide that much profit. The WHOLE point of high executive salaries is that there aren't a lot of executives.
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Re: blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

Postby Ashiwi » Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:51 pm

There are TONS of ways to move dollars around to make it look like expense instead of profit. As Mike said, pay to executives is ONE way of building up an administrative expense. Spread out over the entire population of a customer base that $10M bonus may not equal a large percentage of the premium, but those nickles and dimes do tend to add up over the large picture.

There's a reason the top dogs of insurance companies took such extravagant bonuses this last year. When the companies will be forced to keep administrative costs below a certain percentage of the premium, they'll only be able to cut so much customer service and facility costs without impacting customer satisfaction ratings. In the coming years they might only be able to take one or two million, instead of ten. Who can live on that?
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Re: blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:08 am

The problem is with trying to paint this as something special. It is done in EVERY industry AND YET the health care industry still posts weaker profits than most other industries.
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Re: blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

Postby Ashiwi » Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:27 am

Oh heck, I wasn't trying to paint it as something special. The banking and investment industry is much worse, as are many other lines of business.

The big difference is in how much this product is needed by people of all walks of life. You can go out and buy a used car for transportation, but you can't buy a gently used major medical policy. Somebody who works in a low income job just can't afford insurance, but if they don't have it and have medical problems the rest of us pay for it.
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Re: blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:17 am

Health insurance isn't really necessary. By the fact that the industry turns a profit, it stands to reason that many people put in more money than they cost. Especially when you consider just how expensive some individuals are.

There's also quite a range of products, making insurance affordable for just about anyone, save the top 5% of the sickest creatures.

Furthermore, really, nothing stands in the way of people creating their own insurance groups, much like credit unions.
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Re: blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

Postby Yayaril » Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:09 pm

The way this society has shaped, people do need insurance to keep medical costs affordable, Teflor and creating your own insurance group would require the group to forge a ppo network which is why insurance companies have little competition.
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Re: blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:57 pm

That would only be if you want to have a similar product. Insurance can mean many things.

Furthermore, you don't need insurance to keep medical costs affordable. You just have to ensure that you are not in the top 5% of unhealthiness.
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Re: blueshield rate increases of 60% justified

Postby kiryan » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:20 pm

The competition for health insurance is cash. Many doctors, at least primary care, would prefer to be paid in cash at a rate about 50% of the insurance rate.

health insurance USED to be risk management, today its viewed as cost spreading or "fairness". you personally spread your costs out over time, we as a nation spread the costs of treating the sick people out over all the population as a matter of "fairness".

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