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Federal Health Reform

Blog Post
12/7/2012
Posted by Carmen Balber
Reporters largely missed the point of a Commonwealth Fund study released this week, that looked at consumer savings under Obamacare's 80-20 rule, the rule making insurance companies spend at least 80% of your premiums on health care, not overhead.  The authors started with a fact we already knew -- that health insurance companies had to...
News Release
12/5/2012
Posted by Carmen Balber
Washington, DC – The nonprofit Commonwealth Fund reported today that insurance companies had boosted profits instead of passing on savings to consumers under provisions of the health reform law that require at least 80% of consumer premiums go to medical care instead of overhead. The report recommends rate regulation and additional measures...
News Story
11/19/2012
Posted by Daniel Palay
Tom Steyer wore the same plaid wool tie that he wore the last time, and the time before that, and the time before that. "It's superstition," he said, in his office at One Maritime Plaza, which has a billion-dollar view of Coit Tower and San Francisco Bay. As he often does, he used a pen that morning to draw a simple cross on his...
News Story
11/7/2012
Posted by Mark Reback
SACRAMENTO -- The consumer activists that defeated the Proposition 33 auto insurance initiative, despite their small budget, are crowing over their victory and spoiling for a new fight. This tiime, it's with the health insurance industry. Consumer Watchdog of Santa Monica is winding up its own initiative on the 2014 ballot to regulate health...
News Story
11/7/2012
Posted by Mark Reback
The “B” word may have been the most lethal weapon against an automobile insurance portable persistency initiative put to Californians, the second such initiative in the last two years to be defeated. California’s Proposition 33, the 2012 Automobile Insurance Discount Act, was defeated with 54.6 percent voting against it,...
News Story
9/14/2012
Posted by Mark Reback
Consumer advocates are questioning the fairness of requiring Americans to buy health coverage under the Affordable Care Act if the government can't control the rates insurance companies charge. To keep prices in check, the health reform law instituted a procedure known as rate review, by which state insurance departments evaluate carriers...
News Story
8/29/2012
Posted by Mark Reback
OLDWICK, N.J. -- A debate is brewing over health insurance coverage for small businesses, with consumer advocates contending that very small employers will try to self insure and use medical stop-loss insurance with low deductibles to avoid compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In employer-sponsored health benefits,...
News Story
8/28/2012
Posted by Mark Reback
Complaints about WellPoint chief Angela Braly have intensified since last month's disappointing earnings news. The health insurer says recent deals Braly orchestrated put it on track for growth. Investors in health insurance giant WellPoint Inc., which runs Anthem Blue Cross in California, are pressing for a change in top management as...
Blog Post
8/21/2012
Posted by Carmen Balber
Senator Jon Tester announced his support for legislation to give state insurance commissioners the authority to say no when insurance companies propose excessive and unjustified premium increases. Tester endorsed a bill sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein of CA, (S 137), to require oversight and approval of health insurance premiums. 35 states...
Blog Post
7/3/2012
Posted by Judy Dugan
One of the best consumer protections of the health reform law was a requirement that health insurance companies spend at least 80% to 85% of your premiums on actual health care, leaving 15% to 20% for overhead and those multimillion-dollar executive salaries. If companies don't meet this efficiency level, the they have to pay back some of...