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Protecting Patients

Protecting Patients
Blog Post
3/16/2011
Posted by Carmen Balber
The health insurance industry is running a no-holds-barred campaign to evade consumer protections in the federal health reform law that require them to reduce salaries, waste and other overhead and spend most of our premiums on medical care. Insurers have been attacking the rule directly in the states, where they're lobbying insurance...
Blog Post
3/15/2011
Posted by Carmen Balber
HHS’s head of insurance oversight Steve Larsen got heat from a hostile House committee this afternoon, where he was asked why, if the federal health reform law is so great, is HHS granting waivers to its rules? It’s funny, because health reform haters would also be screaming from the rooftops if HHS had denied any waivers, and...
Blog Post
3/10/2011
Posted by Carmen Balber
At the end of the day Tuesday, HHS quietly announced that the administration will allow junk health insurance company Mega Life and Health, in Maine, to evade rules under the federal health reform law that require insurance companies to spend 80% of premiums on actual patient care, instead of profits and overhead. The limited-benefit insurance...
Blog Post
3/9/2011
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Revolutions in America start in the streets and end with changes in corporate boardrooms, in Capitol hearing rooms and at the ballot box. Big changes seem to happen quickly, but in fact they are the results of long, hard-fought campaigns that are strategically laid out. We have a plan and we would like your thoughts. Please read the...
News Release
3/8/2011
Posted by Carmen Balber
Washington, DC– Health insurance companies will escape public scrutiny of double-digit rate hikes if the US Department of Health and Human Services fails to strengthen rate review disclosure forms proposed this week, said Consumer Watchdog. A draft regulation issued by HHS requires justification and review of any health insurance rate...
Blog Post
2/25/2011
Posted by Carmen Balber
HHS struck a blow for affordable health insurance yesterday when it announced that $27.5 million in extra grant money will be available to states that have the power to modify and deny excessive insurance rate hikes. Comments were due to HHS Tuesday on provisions in the federal health reform law that require increased scrutiny of unreasonable...
News Release
1/27/2011
Posted by Carmen Balber
Washington, DC– House Republicans are misrepresenting California’s experience with medical liability limits to argue for legislation, HR 5, that would take away the rights of patients injured by medical negligence. Consumer Watchdog sent a letter to the bill’s author, House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith, today and called on...
Blog Post
1/14/2011
Posted by Jamie Court
After Blue Shield shocked the nation with 59% premium hikes in California last week, the company just refused a request from the elected insurance commissioner to stop the increases for 60 days.  Blue Shield is making the case for tough premium regulation, because is has proven that it has the power to raise rates as much as it wants at...
Video
1/7/2011
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
In the wake of Blue Shield's 59% rate hike, Consumer Watchdog's Carmen Balber discusses the current need in nearly every state for public officials to have the power to review and reject the crippling rate hikes currently being imposed by health care providers.
News Release
1/6/2011
Posted by Doug Heller
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer advocates are calling Blue Shield's 59% premium hike Exhibit A for legislation that would allow the Insurance Commissioner to curb health insurers' rate hikes.  California Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-LA) has introduced AB 52, which would require health insurers to receive approval from the state before...