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Insurance

WNYC News

Don't Wait for Insurance Inspector, New York Tells Homeowners with Claims

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

With another storm on the way, New York State is changing the procedures on home insurance claims following Sandy.

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It's A Free Country ®

That's My Issue: Fixing Insurance

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Two guys, the same illness, the same treatment - two very different results.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Area Hospitals Without Malpractice Insurance

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New York Times reporter Anemona Hartocollis talks about why several New York City hospitals lack malpractice insurance or are only partially covered, and what patients need to know.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Why Tort Reform Won't Solve the Healthcare Cost Crisis

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It’s a terrific plan, except for the fact that it’s a terrible plan.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Health Insurers Go It Alone

Friday, June 15, 2012

As the Supreme Court's decision looms on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, Julie Appleby, a reporter for Kaiser Health News, discusses the announcement by three major insurance companies that they will continue to adhere to some provisions of the Obama health reforms regardless of the Court's ruling.

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The Takeaway

United Healthcare Will Maintain Some Provisions Regardless of Supreme Court Ruling

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Yesterday, UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest health insurer, announced that it would keep in place several consumer provisions mandated by the 2010 affordable care act, regardless of whether the statue is upheld by the Supreme Court. Is the company’s plan incredibly generous? Will it change the healthcare playing field?

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Transportation Nation

Montana Highway Patrol Can Instantly Verify Driver Liability Insurance

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

(Billings, MT – YPR) – Montana will soon join about 8 other states where law enforcement can immediately verify whether a driver has liability insurance as required by state laws.

“It’s one more tool in our tool box to make sure people comply with the law,” says Col. Mike Tooley, chief of the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP).

He says the instant verification system will allow troopers out on the highway to know immediately if a motorist has insurance and whether the proof of insurance card is legitimate. “In the past it would be pretty easy to show a card that was maybe manufactured illegally or maybe someone bought insurance and turned right around and cancelled it and still had the card.”

On May 21, 2012, MHP troopers in the southwestern district will begin using the new Montana Insurance Verification System (MTIVS).   Soon after, MHP troopers statewide will have access to the system. By late summer or early fall, MTIVS will be available to all Montana law enforcement agencies.

Tooley adds the system will provide a convenience for drivers who have insurance but cannot find proof. If they are given a citation, that driver will have to appear in court to show proof of insurance. A ticket for not having insurance can cost up to $285 for the first offense.

“It’s a common sense tool for Montanans who expect their neighbors to carry insurance, like the law requires,” says Brenda Nordlund, administrator of the state’s Motor Vehicle Division. “They (Montanans) expect that technology will give you the ability to verify insurance without having to fumble through that jockey box.”

Law enforcement official say studies indicate about 85% of Montanans comply with the automotive liability insurance requirement.

State Justice Department officials say Montana joins California Wyoming, Utah, Texas, South Carolina, Florida, and Washington, DC in having an instant insurance verification system for law enforcement.

Nordlund says many states have some element of insurance reporting, but it tends to be cumbersome, expensive and quickly outdated.

“When I’ve talked about what Montana is doing, I’ve described us as going from 0 to 60 (MPH) because we’ve never had a reporting system from the insurance companies,” she says. “This is the most streamlined manner of verifying insurance because we’re not going to a database. Our inquiry goes over the web directly to the insurance company to say, ‘confirmed’ or ‘not.’”

The 2009 Montana Legislature authorized MITIVS. The system has an annual cost of about $539,000. Motorists pay for the system through a fee tacked on for a license plate.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Open Phones: Young, Healthy and Uninsured

Monday, April 23, 2012

The "individual mandate" in President Obama's health-care reform targets the young, healthy and uninsured. Young people, what do you make of the mandate, and how does it affect the way you assess Obama in this election year? Post here or call 212-433-9692 at 10:20!

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The Takeaway

What Happens If the Supreme Court Rejects the Individual Mandate?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

All this week, the Supreme Court has heard arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The centerpiece of President Obama's health care reform legislation — and the focus of the debate at the Court — is the individual mandate, which requires all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a fine. The Court won't issue a ruling until June, but if they do declare the mandate unconstitutional, how much of a real difference will it make for you and your health care?

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WNYC News

Free-Lancers Union Gets Federal Funds To Expand Insurance Coverage

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A small local insurance company will receive federal loans to serve low-income people in the region who make too much to be on Medicaid, but too little to purchase regular health coverage.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

New York State Insurance and Contraception

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Obama administration is responding to criticism about its decision to mandate that all insurance providers – even those contracted by Catholic organizations – provide contraception. But New York State has had such a law on its books for a decade. Lois Uttley, Director of the MergerWatch Project and Raising Women’s Voices-NY, discusses how New York’s policy functions.

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WNYC News

Investigation Prompts Insurers to Pay Out Millions in Death Benefits

Monday, December 05, 2011

Insurance companies have paid out more than $52 million in delayed death benefits, in response to an investigation of their practices by New York's Department of Financial Services.

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WNYC News

Empire Blue Cross Cuts Small Biz Coverage

Monday, November 21, 2011

Small businesses in New York will soon have fewer options for insuring their employees. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, one of the state’s largest insurance carriers, is discontinuing many of its most popular plans for firms with 2-50 employees.

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WNYC News

New Law Will Require Broader Disclosures From Insurance Companies

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Purchasers of health coverage in New York who want to know why their premiums are skyrocketing will soon get a better explanation.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Following Up on Insurance, Post-Irene

Thursday, September 15, 2011

J. Robert Hunter, director of Insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, follows up on how the insurance industry is reacting to the damage and flooding from Hurricane-turned-Tropical Storm Irene.

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The Takeaway

Why Insurance Companies Aren't Worried About Irene

Friday, September 02, 2011

Tropical Storm Irene recently stormed across the northeastern United States, leaving somewhere billions of dollars in damages in its wake. But it won't be insurance companies footing the bill — most likely, it'll be taxpayers. This is partly due to the fact that most people that the storm affected don't have insurance that covers floods, but the federal government's insurance program is also billions of dollars in debt. 

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Federal Flood Insurance

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Leslie Scism, Wall Street Journal staff reporter and news editor, talks about the debate in Congress over reauthorizing the federal flood insurance program.

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The Takeaway

States Lure Insurance Companies Through Looser Regulations

Monday, May 09, 2011

Insurance companies have traditionally set up subsidiaries in off-shore tax havens like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands in part to get around strict state regulations regarding their investment strategies. But according to a report by our partner, The New York Times, a number of states have begun luring insurance giants back by allowing them to establish "captive" subsidiaries — risk management systems that allow companies to invest and reinsure without as much capital backing. Now some state insurance commissioners are warning that captives could put insurance policy holders at risk in the same way that the housing market was endangered by mortgage-backed securities.

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WNYC News

FDNY on Collision Course With Insurers Over "Crash Tax"

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fire officials continued to defend the so-called "crash tax" proposal that would charge at-fault drivers up to $490 when emergency crews had to respond to traffic accidents as insurers fumed over the fee.

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Transportation Nation

Drive Less? Pay Less

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

(San Francisco–Casey Miner, KALW News) Have a car, but don't drive it that often? Starting in February, that means you could pay less for your car insurance in California. Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced that two insurance companies, State Farm and the Automobile Club of Southern California, would offer plans that allowed drivers to report their own mileage and pay significantly lower premiums for driving less.

Approaching car insurance this way has obvious benefits--among them fewer accidents and reducing greenhouse gases. But it also gives insurers some leverage with infrequent drivers, who might be on the fence about continuing to own a car. Especially in cities like San Francisco, where car-sharing is increasingly popular (and personal car-sharing is starting up), an option like this could keep people from ditching their wheels.

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