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Blog Post
1/13/2012
By Carmen Balber
Federal health insurance regulators announced yesterday that the health insurance company Trustmark is trying to impose unreasonable rate hikes - that will mean multiple premium increases this year adding up to over 27% for some patients - on nearly 10,000 thousand people in 5 states. The federal health reform law requires review of premium...
Blog Post
1/5/2012
By Carmen Balber
I'm starting to recognize that guy behind the podium. President Obama took a strong stand for consumers not once, but twice, yesterday, first when he did an endrun around Wall Street (and Senate) obstructionists to finalize the appointment of his nominee to head the new financial consumer watchdog agency, and again when his Dept. of Health...
Blog Post
12/20/2011
By Carmen Balber
Health reform advocates are still sorting out the implications of the shocker of an announcement that came out of the Dept. of Health and Human Services this Friday. In a move that could be a blessing for some consumers and a curse for others, HHS punted to the states the most anxiously-anticipated rule in the federal health reform law: the...
News Release
12/15/2011
CONTACT Carmen Balber & Judy Dugan
Washington, D.C. -- Consumer Watchdog today applauded the Obama Administration’s decision to reject a bid by politicians in the state of Florida to evade a key consumer protection rule in the health reform law that requires insurance companies to reduce bloated bureaucracies and excessive profits to spend more on actual health care....
Blog Post
12/13/2011
By Judy Dugan
When I first noticed the ad below while hunting for cookie recipes, I was surprised to see a health insurance company buying a full page in the first pages of a cooking magazine. But reading it was another surprise. The headline touts "Free Annual Checkups," and the text of the Anthem Blue Cross ad takes credit for this brand-new...
Blog Post
11/29/2011
By Carmen Balber
The Obama administration yesterday rejected efforts by Indiana and Louisiana to evade the only rule in the federal health reform law that requires insurance companies to cut back on excessive waste, salaries and profits. Indiana and Louisiana wanted to exempt insurers in their states from the rule requiring health insurance companies to spend...
Blog Post
11/23/2011
By Judy Dugan
Last night when the National Association of Insurance Commissioners voted by a bare majority to back an insurance industry plan to gut health insurance price protections in the federal health reform, Consumer Watchdog went nuts on the association. It was especially galling that brokers kept insisting it was for the good of consumers, that they...
News Release
11/22/2011
CONTACT Carmen Balber & Judy Dugan
Washington, DC -- State insurance commissioners voted narrowly Tuesday afternoon for a resolution aiming to gut a key consumer protection in the health reform law. The plan would cost consumers an estimated $1.1 billion in premium rebates and leave them open to major rate hikes, said Consumer Watchdog. The members of the National Association of...
News Release
11/21/2011
CONTACT Carmen Balber
Washington, DC – The Department of Health and Human Services deemed a health insurance rate hike unreasonable under the federal health reform law for the first time today, and called on a Pennsylvania health insurer, Everence, to reverse the 12% increase and refund excess premiums to policyholders.     However, neither federal...
News Release
11/17/2011
CONTACT Carmen Balber & Judy Dugan
Washington DC – State insurance regulators will vote on Tuesday whether to deny consumers an estimated $1.1 billion in health insurance premium rebates nationally. The group appears set to approve a resolution sponsored by the insurance sales lobby and insurance companies aimed at gutting limits on wasteful bureaucracy, executive salaries...