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Action on Medical Care

News Story
8/17/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
The $1-million grants, which went to all but five states, will help many expand public access to information about rate hikes and hire experts to review proposed charges. In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration specifically ruled out seeking prior approval authority. Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica-based advocacy group,...
Blog Post
8/16/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that HHS awarded $46 million in grant funds to 45 states and DC to "help states crack down on unreasonable health insurance premium hikes." But are all 46 of those insurance departments really planning significant improvements in rate regulation? How much new protection will consumers gain from...
News Release
8/16/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Insurance Commissioners and Obama Administration Must Resist More Weakening of Curbs on Industry Overhead and Profit, Says Consumer Watchdog Seattle, WA --The nation’s state insurance commissioners are making far-reaching decisions in Seattle this week on whether health insurance companies will spend more on health care, less on their own...
News Story
8/16/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
As part of ObamaCare, the federal government will impose strict new spending rules on health insurers. How it does so could have a sweeping impact on the industry and patient care. Supporters say these new "medical loss ratio" regulations could provide better value for consumers. Critics argue that they could decrease innovation and...
Blog Post
8/14/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
It's livelier Saturday at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners meeting in Seattle. Most refreshing was a medium-sized street demonstration, with forays into meeting rooms, by young and old demonstrators protesting lobbyist influence on health care reform. They handed out "lobbyist disinfectant packs," including soap and...
Blog Post
8/13/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
(Seattle)--The big buzz today at a meeting of the National Association of Insurance Regulators was that President Obama would speak to the thousand-plus people gathered here--and then that he wouldn't. Maybe he didn't want to get involved in a down-to-the wire battle over whether insurance companies will have to grow more efficient and spend more...
News Story
8/13/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
A few months into a new job as a contract engineer, Jim Arey was stunned by an $8,000 bill he received for two doctor-administered infusions of an expensive drug he needs regularly. That's when the Columbia, Md., man learned that the insurance provided through his placement firm capped doctor's office care at $2,000 a year. He unknowingly hit his...
News Release
8/13/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Washington, DC – Consumer Watchdog called on the Obama Administration to adopt new regulations requiring broad financial disclosures by health insurance companies to help insulate Americans from double-digit rate increases. Insurers should provide details of shadowy multibillion-dollar transfers to out-of-state affiliates and parent...
News Story
8/12/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Consumer advocates urged the Obama administration Thursday to investigate what they called an effort by large for-profit insurance companies to slash spending on medical care even as they raise premiums. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Consumer Watchdog and the Center for Media and Democracy said that insurers...
Blog Post
8/12/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Chairmen of the Senate and House committees with jurisdiction over health care reform sent a letter to Secretary Sebelius on Tuesday clarifying their intent on a particularly controversial provision in the health care law, resolving a long dispute and throwing a wrench into the insurance industry's lobbying efforts. As the NAIC works on crafting...