What is Subrogation?
Last Updated on October 16th, 2018
Many people ask us what will happen with their health insurance and how that will affect their claim – this video discusses one aspect called subrogation.
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Good News – If You're a Health Insurance Company
Last Updated on July 31st, 2017
Big 5 insurers’ profits up 56% in 2009
As the nation struggled last, year with rising health care costs and a recession, the five largest health insurance companies had combined profits of $12.2 billion â€” up 56 percent over 2008, according to a new report by liberal health care activists.
Based on company financial reports for 2009 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the report said insurers WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group, Cigna Corp., Aetna and Humana Inc. covered 2.7 million fewer people than they did the year before.
The report Thursday also said three of the five insurers cut the proportion of premiums they spent on their customers’ medical care, committing relatively more to salaries, administrative expenses and profits.
Prepared by Heath Care for America Now, a coalition of liberal advocacy groups and labor unions, the report was aimed at bolstering the drive by Democrats to complete work on a health care overhaul, which, insurers have vigorously opposed.
Industry representatives Thursday criticized the reports approach, pointing out that 2008 was a bad year financially across many industries, skewing the 2009 comparison.
“It is disingenuous to look at the profits at one company today compared to where it was in the depth of a recession,” said Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s Washington-based lobbying arm.
The 2009 company profits are nonetheless intensifying pressure on an industry already under attack for raising premiums and denying coverage to millions of Americans.
“That’s why we need health insurance reform today in this country and why we are going to continue in the Congress to work on this until we see it through,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., a leading advocate of the health legislation being pushed by Democrats on Capitol Hill.
In California, Anthem Blue Cross, a subsidiary of WellPoint, is facing growing scrutiny over its decision to raise premiums for individual health insurance policies by as much as 39 percent this year for some consumers.
Thursday, WellPoint defended the rate increase in a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, saying that the rising rates reflect soaring medical costs and will average closer to 20 percent for most customers.
WellPoint also said Anthem’s individual business in California lost money in 2009, as the weak economy prompted many customers to switch to lower-cost options. The company did not, say how much Anthem lost.
Indianapolis-based Well-Point as a whole posted a profit, recording net income of more than $4.7 billion in 2009.
WellPoint’s profit margin, at 7.3 percent, was the highest of the five big insurers. Margins at the other four ranged from 3.4 percent for Louisville, Ky., based Humana to 7.1 percent for Philadelphia based Cigna.
The companies were achieving better results at the same time they lost customers.
WellPoint shed nearly 1.4 million customers, a 3.9 percent drop over 2008, according to its filings. And Cigna lost 5.5 percent of its customers, or 639,000 people.
Only Aetna, which also was the only company whose profits decreased from 2008, gained customers, picking up an additional 1.2 Million people, an increase of 6.9 percent.
The shrinking customer base â€” which reflects increasing unemployment and the growing number of companies that are dropping coverageâ€” was offset slightly by growth in the companies’ public sector business through Medicare and Medicaid.
Study links trauma deaths, lack of insurance
Last Updated on July 31st, 2017
Patients who lack health insurance are more likely to die from car wrecks and other traumatic injuries than people who belong to a health plan, even though emergency rooms are required to care for all patients. regardless of ability to pay, according to a study to be published today.
An analysis of 687,091 patients who visited trauma centers nationwide between 2002 and 2006 found that the odds of dying after an accidental injury were nearly twice as high for the uninsured than for patients with private insurance, researchers reported in Archives of Surgery.
Trauma physicians said they were surprised by the findings, even though a slew of studies had previously documented the ill effects of going without health coverage. Uninsured patients are less likely to be screened for certain cancers or be admitted to specialty hospitals for procedures such as heart bypass surgery.
They also often wait longer to see doctors in ERs.
And patients without insurance may have higher rates of untreated underlying conditions that make it harder to recover from trauma injuries, the research team from Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston said. They also may be more passive with doctors and nurses because they don’t interact with them as often.
Overall, about 18,000 deaths each year have been traced to a lack of health insurance.
Texans losing health coverage
Last Updated on July 31st, 2017
Every month, 24,070 Texans lose their health care coverage, according to a report released Wednesday by an advocacy group.
The report by Families USA, which is an advocate for quality, affordable health coverage for all Americans, comes as Congress is weighing, health care reforms pushed by President Barack Obama.
The report says that between January 2008 and December 2010, 6.9 million Americans lost or will have lost health coverage, including 866,580 Texans. Only California was projected to have had mare people lose coverage. “The longer Congress waits to act, the more families will lose coverage,” Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack said.
Though the economy is a factor, the rising cost of premiums, Pollack said. Between 1999 and 2008, the average annual family, premium more than doubled from $5,791 to $12,680, the report said.
Arlene Wohlgemuth, a senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which is an advocate for limited government, said the health reform proposal that cleared a Senate panel Wednesday would amount to a “government takeover of our health care system.”
Texas has the nation’s highest rate of uninsured people: 25 percent.