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Blog Post
8/25/2010
Posted by Judy Dugan
At the shoe store, 40% off qualifies as at least pretty good. So why does regulators' approval of new, lower rates by Blue Cross of California not feel like victory? There are lots of reasons, but first is that the revised Blue Cross rate hikes are still in double digits, averaging 14% and as high as 20%, while average wages are still falling....
Blog Post
8/19/2010
Posted by Judy Dugan
Wouldn't it be great if we could all deduct our federal income and investment taxes from next year's income? And if we could also deduct that stress-reducing trip to a spa in Bora Bora? And if the government would just take our word for it? Fantasy for us, but the health insurance industry think that's what federal health reform ought to allow, on...
Blog Post
8/17/2010
Posted by Judy Dugan
The worst definitely didn't happen in Seattle. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners deferred the worst insurance industry demands for weakening the implementation of health care reform. For a body so closely linked to the insurance industry, that counts as real progress. Credit is due to the state-level experts who wrote proposed...
Blog Post
8/17/2010
Posted by Jamie Court
It took my wife an hour and half to make the two mile commute home Monday, after the secret service closed some of LA's busiest streets at rush hour to shuttle the president from his Beverly Hills hotel to a fundraiser for Congress hosted by the producer of West Wing. As the White House tweeted about Potus meeting the Hollywood West Wingers, LA's...
Blog Post
8/16/2010
Posted by Judy Dugan
If there's one thing the National Association of Insurance Commissioners don't see much of, it's public attention. Now, however, it's got the attention of the media, consumer advocates and at least part of an increasingly aware public. The spotlight may lead them to better decisions, even though insurance company lobbying has not diminished a bit...
Blog Post
8/16/2010
Posted by Carmen Balber
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
CONTACT CONTACT: Judy Dugan, 213-280-0175, cell, or judy@consumerwatchdog.org
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...
Blog Post
8/14/2010
Posted by Judy Dugan
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 Judy Dugan
(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...
Blog Post
8/13/2010
Posted by Carmen Balber
Life insurers are facing broad criticism for profiting from the death benefits of soldiers and other life insurance policyholders even after a claim is supposed to be paid.  Insurers are using so-called "retained benefit accounts" to hold onto payments they owe to families of deceased policyholders. They deposit the funds in insurer...