Conseco Life rate increase shot down

A federal court judge in California has rebuked Conseco Life Insurance Co., ruling against them in a class action suit. The ruling will prohibit the insurer from tripling its rates on nearly 50,000 life insurance policies sold in the late 80’s into the mid 90’s. The decision was made on Wednesday. The case began in 2002, when the Indiana Department of Insurance voiced their worry about the insurers’ ability to manage itself appropriately. Conseco filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection that year after it failed to acquire a competing insurance…

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North Carolina Republican panel supports health care reform challenge

The assembly voted to include the state into a nationwide lawsuit aimed against mandatory health insurance. This feature of the new health care reform, set to take place in 2014, requires Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a fee. The House vote was 23 to 16 in the latest provision aimed to block imposed health insurance by the Republican Party. “This is designed to protect the vast majority of our citizens from what we believe is an unjustified incursion of government power,” said House Majority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake, who sponsored…

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Nevada in dire straights

Unemployment insurance is in dire straits in Nevada as the state continues to borrow money from the government to keep its unemployment benefits afloat. The situation is so severe that the benefit fund is not expected to recover until 2018. Reports suggest that the problem shows no sign of abatement as Nevada continues to experience jumps in its unemployment rate since November, 2010. The Employment Security Council raised unemployment tax on business by .77% in 2010, bringing the tax rate to 2% in an effort to offset the deficit. While…

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More small businesses are offering health care coverage

There has been a recent increase in group health insurance plans offered by small business owners. This is due in part from the introduction of federal tax credit enticement from last year’s health care reform. In the fourth quarter of 2010, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Inc. saw a five to six percent increase in group health insurance and this trend is continuing in 2011. BCBS senior director of external communication, John Herbkersman, agrees that there is quite a bit of interest in coverage options from small businesses.…

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The business of fraudulent insurance claims

Today, there are some that make a living specializing only in insurance fraud by submitting doctored up insurance claims. The false claims received may include life insurance, third-party policy, personal damage and car theft.  In many cases, the claim amounts asked for are considerably higher than the injuries, damage or loss that occurred – this can raise a red flag to potential wrong doing. Life insurance fraud is when someone makes false claims about faking an injury or death.  The false documentation used is usually police reports, medical cards, marriage…

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Insurers profit from medicare funds

Private insurance plans tailored to accommodate Medicare recipients are making massive profits by using advance government payouts. The Medicare program regularly sends money in advance, much of which has no immediate need, and insurers are using the funds to secure investments, according to an investigation report by the Department of Health and Human Services. Those in the  financial world are familar with this practice called, “playing the float”. The HHS inspector general estimated that private Medicare plans obtained some $380 million from these investments with money used from the government advances. These…

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New report shows that more than half of America is sick

A study released by the Department of Health and Human Services, released today, declares that some 129 million Americans under the age of 65 suffer from preexisting medical conditions that could hinder their ability to obtain coverage or send their premiums skyrocketing. The study comes as the House of Representatives begins hearing a proposed bill to repeal the health-care overhaul of 2010. According to the old rules, insurers could deny applicants based on whether they had a preexisting condition, whether that is a birth defect or cancer, and if not…

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Proposed Texas state run health insurance program in the forefront

Texas may be establishing a state-run health insurance exchange, should legislation proposed by Rep. John Zerwas come to fruition. The bill would create a simplified insurance market for the state and serve as its exchange as dictated by the federal health overhaul passed the previous year. Under the plan, consumers can choose from plans that are eligible for federal subsidies, of which all will be state-regulated. Though opposed to the health care reforms proposed by the Obama administration, Zerwas ascribes to the “connector concept,” a middle-ground for state and federal…

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Delays for California health insurance rate hike

On the heels of the announcement that Blue Shield of California would be raising its premiums by 59%, a proposition that has since been delayed by the state’s insurance commissioner, additional delays are being requested from insurers Aetna, Anthem and PacifiCare.  New Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, who urged Blue Shield to postpone their rate hike for 60 days, has extended his inquiry to include the other big name insurers, who claim the rate hike is justified in light of rising medical costs and use of services. In a letter written…

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Big Insurer, Big Information!

Later this year, heavyweight insurer Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association will transform their healthcare data analysis service into its own business. Founded only 4 years ago, Blue Health Intelligence reviews millions of claims and details how healthcare is being put to use by policyholders. Claiming its database surpasses that of the government, Blue Health Intelligence uses its analysis to determine trends and offer insights to quality of coverage – a service that is quite cost effective. Current trends in the industry, spurred by looming legislative reform, are suggesting that…

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