YUEI: Small Business Insurace Follow-Up

Monday, March 16, 2009

WNYC reporter Fred Mogul and Troy Oechsner, deputy superintendent for health at the New York State Insurance Department, follow up on the Brian Lehrer Show open phones segment about rising health insurance premiums.


Fred Mogul and Troy Oechsner

Comments [8]

D.J. from manhattan

Small-business owners have it easy compared to those of us in real estate: not only has the real-estate market taken a nosedive, we must pay our own health insurance. My husband and I pay $2,400 a month. That's right: not $240 per month, but $2,400. Anyone want to buy an apartment?

Mar. 16 2009 11:00 AM
Barbara from Greenlawn, NY

The loss ratio for processing Medicare claims is approximately 94% -- that is, about 6% of the premiums go to administrative costs. This presents a good argument to open access to the Medicare program to anyone who wants to pay the premium for that plan -- which is a LOT lower than premium for small business plans. Let small businesses opt to offer the Medicare plan (and optionally one of the standard "Medicare Gap" programs). Small business would save huge money. Granted the covered benefits would be limited to the benefits covered by Medicare, but that program is nearly the same as the typical insured plan in NYS -- similar services, but deductibles and coinsurance may differ (typically 80/20 for doctor visits).

Mar. 16 2009 10:58 AM
Jimmy from NJ

why are such premiums getting higher yet reimbursements for doctors and centers are consistantly getting lower.......

Mar. 16 2009 10:48 AM
Barbara from Greenlawn, NY

One contributor to rising health insurance plans in NYS is that NYS allowed the formerly non-profit Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield to become a for-profit company (2002) and it subsequently got purchased by the huge for-profit, Indiana-based company, Wellpoint. Salaries of the executives are in the tens of millions per year. Those hundreds of millions being paid to the top echelon were formerly used to cover services and keep premiums down.

Mar. 16 2009 10:48 AM
Norman from Manhattan

A loss ratio of 75% is pretty low (that is, the company is taking a big part of the profit and returning very little). HIP has 85%.

Mar. 16 2009 10:45 AM
Smokey from LES

This is crazy! What other industry makes 25% profit every year? When will we learn that profit shouldn't apply to fire, police or health?

Mar. 16 2009 10:44 AM
ceolaf from brooklyn

But are those small v. big business health insurance premiums for comparable plans? Or, does big business provide better coverage to its employees?

Mar. 16 2009 10:42 AM
C. from Brooklyn

My insurance premium is going up %20. My employer currently pays %50, but they're not going to increase the amount they put in. I'm considering switching to a cheaper plan with a high deductible, and gambling that I just won't get sick, but know that if I get hit by a bus I won't be COMPLETELY broke.

Mar. 16 2009 10:15 AM

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