Streams

Health Insurance Rate Increases

Monday, October 17, 2011

Vice president of health initiatives at the Community Services Society and co founder of Health Care for All New York Campaign (HCFANY), Elisabeth Benjamin, is urging the state not to approve the health insurance premium increases by the companies.

Guests:

Elisabeth Benjamin

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Comments [36]

The Sad Truth from NYC

Instead of debating whether or not the increases are just or not, go to the root cause: get rid of "health insurance" companies! Have people pay for the medical they need out of pocket, and insure only against catastrophic illness. With this, take all the profit and admin costs from the insurers, and lower costs by that amount. Cut out unnecessary tests and procedures, and lower costs still more. Making people responsible for what they use is the only way costs will ever come down. Otherwise there is no incentive.

Oct. 18 2011 02:56 PM
anna from new york

"Brian, to all your snarkiness towards the Occupy Wall Street movement.. this is exactly why they are protesting."
Michelle, you seem to be confused. Insurance companies and Wall Street are not the same thing. Don't worry - they are confused too.
They are protesting Wall Street. Why would anyone in America protest the workplace barbarity or the lack of medical care?

Oct. 18 2011 03:20 AM
Gary from Denison, texas

Health insurance companies are exempt from price fixing laws. A successful drive to provide campaign contributions to both democrat and republican candidates during the 1920's led to federal legislation that exempted insurance companies from price fixing laws. They may collude, transact price fixing agreements with other "competitors" to guaranty windfall profits, while circumventing 'free market' promulgations. (source: Public Citizen, Ralph Nader Tort reform address to Oklahoma State Legislature, 1982, not sure about that date but I think that's right...)

Oct. 17 2011 01:52 PM

Where is the list of executive salaries on the css website? It would be a valuable tool for lobbying.

Oct. 17 2011 01:30 PM

Where is the list of executive salaries on the css website? It would be a valuable tool for lobbying.

Oct. 17 2011 12:02 PM
John A.

I too could write a page on Health "Care" experiences, maybe 10 pages. Hospitals+Insurance companies. There are monopolies. Call this a duopoly.

Oct. 17 2011 11:55 AM

Health Insurance ≠ Healthcare.

Eliminate the middleman!!

Oct. 17 2011 11:51 AM
Cynthia from Brooklyn

Brian, I can't believe you used the term "Obamacare" on your show. You seem to be pandering more and more to the right.
PLEASE.

Oct. 17 2011 11:46 AM
RCTNYC from NYC

Yes, John, the health care bill is a bad thing; we shouldn't have one. Let all the uninsured people die or go bankrupt. You, too.

We will have lower rates when people stop attacking Obama and get behind the 99 percent. If you keep shooting at your friends, you might as well shoot yourself, too.

Oct. 17 2011 11:45 AM
anne from Westchester County

I am a licensed mental health provider and I am contracted with Aetna and Oxford/UH. I have taken a 23% rate reduction in the last two years in order to remain in-network. I work with middle class family and their children, many who could not afford to pay for private psychotherapy. I can't believe these companies will get away with raising premiums again.

Oct. 17 2011 11:44 AM

HOW CAN THIS ISSUE BE DEBATED CIVILY????

Peoples' LIVES ARE AT STAKE!!!

THIS INDUSTRY MURDERS!

MURDER.

They KILL people!!

Oct. 17 2011 11:43 AM
anne from Westchester County

I am a licensed mental health provider and I am contracted with Aetna and Oxford/UH. I have taken a 23% rate reduction in the last two years in order to remain in-network. I work with middle class family and their children, many who could not afford to pay for private psychotherapy. I can't believe these companies will get away with raising premiums again.

Oct. 17 2011 11:43 AM

Michelle from nyc

I think she's on to something!

Oct. 17 2011 11:40 AM
Linda Lamel from New York

I'm a former NYS Insurance regulator who worked on health insurance rates. The law allows the Dept to consider whether rates are "inadequate, excessive or unfairly discriminatory." In order to do that financial information must be submitted by the insurers requesting the rates. The public should be protected by this!

Oct. 17 2011 11:39 AM
carlianschwartz from Paterson, New Jersey

There is no real competition between health insurers in New York State--or elsewhere. They form what would have been called a "trust" back in the bad old days of the late 19th Century. Their moves are coordinated by a trade group headed by Karen Ignani which basically coordinates things like premium increases, lobbying efforts, etc.

The rate increases have no basis in fact; that is clear. The basis is greed and the cost of buying legislators and governors (like Pataki who allowed a lack of transparency, in exchange for feeding his coffers for any Presidential aspirations). CEO salaries are only the tip of this slimy iceberg. There's also "utilization review," that euphemism for the real "death panels."

This is the only industry that can make a huge (and, it hopes, huger profit) from denying medical care to people. It makes the Final Solution look like the work of a rank amateur.

Oct. 17 2011 11:39 AM

STICK THE PIG!!

This industry MUST GO!!

Immoral,

Corrupt.

Oct. 17 2011 11:39 AM
Erika from Brooklyn

The fact that the head of Aetna made 18 million in 2009 makes me sick. That is the same year they refused to pay for treatment of a my pinched nerve because apparently full use of my left arm in “not medically necessary”.

Oct. 17 2011 11:39 AM

Has it occurred to anyone that these companies are NOT really competitors, but a cartel? That makes sense to me, especially since we don't have the information.

Oct. 17 2011 11:38 AM
Robert from NYC

But if he gets a smaller salary the money would (SHOULD) go back into the operation costs of the company. It's not only the CEO, all of upper management gets high salaries and if they got lower salaries that money would go back into operating costs.

Oct. 17 2011 11:38 AM

Add health insurance industry to the same list with the banks on it!!!

Mr. Watson, you sir are a criminal!!!

An amoral sociopath!!

Oct. 17 2011 11:37 AM
Jenny from brooklyn

Mike your father needs to learn to steal better.. he can consult some doctors and their office managers in Brighton beach Brooklyn.

Oct. 17 2011 11:37 AM
Jeff Pappas from dumbo

Lets talk about the REDUNDANCY of insurance
As a single male homeowner, freelance photographer, car owner, small business owner , employer of part time workers ( workers comp ) and personal health insurance
All of these cover a potential " broken leg "
So we really need a national plan so our legs can be insured just ONCE
Because it just PUMPS Up Profits
Thanks

Oct. 17 2011 11:36 AM
deb gieringer from manhattan

i'm 59. At current rate increases 15-20 percent per year, our family (with one son) will have a premium of $58,000 / year by the time I retire. And that's with max. $6700 currently deductible.

That's $58,000.

Oct. 17 2011 11:36 AM
Robert from NYC

Oh come on, this whole "compete" nonsense is just that, nonsense. It baloney they sold us that bill of goods too, that there is competition. There is none they all just charge the same rate, give or take a tiny bit, but it's a scam. So here we are having to pay these increases that are all the same in the long run because they agree on these similar rates. So where do you go? To anyone of them. They're all doing just fine without any competition. THEY. ARE. NOT. COMPETING. Got it? NOT COMPETING.
Again we've been scammed into believing there's competition because you're talking about it but it's not there! Don't you get it?

Oct. 17 2011 11:36 AM
Superf88

Arguably a violation of the spirit of cobra? (since hikes are biased against non companies)

Oct. 17 2011 11:35 AM
Michelle from nyc

Brian, to all your snarkiness towards the Occupy Wall Street movement.. this is exactly why they are protesting.

Oct. 17 2011 11:35 AM
John from NYC

There seems to be some confusion here.

Obama said that is his health care law was passed, rates WOULD GO DOWN $2,400 PER YEAR.

It was passed.

Oct. 17 2011 11:34 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The truth is, the insurance racket is based on using outdated and false statistical tables.

The reality is, that every SUCCESSFUL business has a "ganef" in it, meaning something a bit crooked. There is no such thing, nor can be such thing, as a truly successful, 100% honest business. It's simply impossible. There has to be some withholding of information, or something else. Competition puts the truly honest businessman out of business fast.

Oct. 17 2011 11:34 AM
jen from manhattan

I just want to clarify that we have a problem not even due to cost. There are simply no individual plans offered in NYC. United pulled out last year.

Oct. 17 2011 11:34 AM
Orin Hatch from nyc

Health Insurance is not a free market.

You don't go into your doctors office and start asking what something costs, less attempt to bargaining.

free market means some one needs get rid of his competitors

Oct. 17 2011 11:33 AM
JUlian Hatton from manhattan

health insurance companies are already reaping the benefits of increase in digitized medical records and greater organization of health professionals. This has dropped costs. There is no pass on to premium payers. This is perverse.
Time for compulsory transparency.

Oct. 17 2011 11:33 AM

Health insurance???

Does anyone still have health insurance???

ELIMINATE THE MIDDLE MAN!!!

WE DON"T NEED HEALTH INSURANCE, WE NEED HEALTH CARE!!!

The very existence of this industry is corrupt, immoral and TOTALLY unnecessary!!

Oct. 17 2011 11:32 AM

Ahhh... c'mon, these insurance companies NEED this increase!

56% increase? That's TOTALLY reasonable...

7.2 million? That salary is NOT morally reprehensible!!!

SINGLE PAYER!!!

Oct. 17 2011 11:29 AM
James Willy from queens

I figured out how to deal with these rate increases. I dropped my insurance coverage.

Oct. 17 2011 11:28 AM
jen from manhattan

Hi. I just want to say I have employed a full time babysitter for many years. We used to be able to get her health insurance but recently it became impossible. Impossible. She is in perfect health and never makes any claims. Purchasing individual health insurance in NYC is impossible and if Gov Cuomo approves the rate increases it should be tied to a commitment that the insurance companies will offer coverage to individuals.

Oct. 17 2011 11:26 AM
Hu Choy from nyc

If they deal seriously with Fraud Health insurance rates would plumet.With one caveat, health insurance needs to be a not for profit business, if it remains for profit business then buy insurance company stock.

PS Brian you can steal SO MUCH money in that industry with minimal if any reprecutions.

Oct. 17 2011 11:25 AM

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