[…] We still have several months left in 2009 for regulators and insurance companies to work out the details, and I’m sure we’ll know more by the end of the year. When you combine this with the new Colorado law banning gender rating on health insurance policies, and the myriad of reforms coming from the federal government, I’d say that health insurance regulators in Denver are going to have their hands full for a while.
A year ago I wrote an article about how health insurance companies were generally doing a better job in 2008 of paying claims faster and denying fewer claims than they did in 2007. The annual Athena Health study results are now out for 2009, and overall there was another significant increase in the speed with which health insurance companies paid claims (7 days faster than in 2008) and a decline among most payers in terms of the percentage of claims denied. […]
Three of the nation’s top health insurance carriers – Wellpoint, United Healthcare, and Humana – have announced that they will automatically keep young adults under the age of 26 on their parents’ policies between now and September 23, when the health care reform legislation guarantees this option for all everyone under the age of 26. […]
[…] Perhaps the question we should be asking is not who should be paying for healthcare, but rather, why in the world are we paying so much in the first place? Health insurance premiums will continue to rise as long as health care costs do the same. It won’t do any good to try to address premiums without first figuring out why we’re paying so much for our health care in the first place, and doing something about it.
[…] But these numbers would seem to indicate that while Anthem’s rate increase may have been large, it seems to be in line with what other carriers are charging in Colorado. For the little test I conducted, Anthem’s premium was the second-lowest I found, and the only one with a lower premium had an additional thousand dollars in out of pocket exposure.
[…] When Jay hurt his knee a couple years ago, an MRI was done prior to surgery. We have an HSA qualified health insurance policy, and at the time our deductible was $3000. So we paid for the MRI ourselves, and it amounted to more than a third of the deductible. And that was after Humana reduced the bill to the network negotiated amount. MRIs have helped to make medicine a much more exact science, but they are not cheap.
It seems that any system that pays physicians – directly or indirectly – to order additional testing will end up with excessive testing, adding to the overall cost of health care. Even doctors with the best of intentions are likely to be swayed by the knowledge that they can boost their paychecks by adding a few MRIs here and there.
I believe that the number of tests a doctors orders should not impact his or her income. And it seems that adding more medical imaging facilities in primary care offices will only increase our already burgeoning health care costs […]
My father has been on dialysis for eight years. He has Wegener’s Granulomatosis, a rare autoimmune disease, and it destroyed his kidneys very suddenly in 2001. His illness came out of the blue, following a lifetime of good health, and has given my parents an up-close look at our health care system. Because he has kidney failure, my father qualified for Medicare. But until the advent of Medicare Part D in January 2006, my parents had to pay for all of his medications out of pocket.
Dialysis does not remove phosphate, so my father has to be on a drug that prevents phosphate from building up in his blood. In 2002, he was on PhosLo, a brand name drug, because the generic wasn’t available. At that time, a three month supply cost $108.25. Now, seven years later, he takes the generic version (calcium acetate) and a three month supply is $528.29 (a 488% increase in price). Humana, his Medicare D carrier, picks up the tab, but we all know that claims […]
[…] Many proponents of a shift away from medical underwriting want to require everyone to carry health insurance. That would help spread the cost of care across a larger population, and would likely help to contain the price increase that we would see if medical underwriting were to cease. But my guess is that we would still see a rather dramatic increase in premiums.
The Colorado Division of Insurance has finished compiling and organizing the data for 2008. Visit the Colorado Health Insurance Company Complaint Ratio Comparison page to see the updated complaint, revenue, and market share statistics from the division of insurance along with the A.M. Best Rating information we’ve added […]
[…] It’s a lot of hoops to jump through, but if you have an individual health insurance policy in a state like Colorado that allows pre-existing condition exclusion riders, you might want to double check to see if your rider can be re-evaluated. Most carriers in Colorado require that the condition be resolved for at least a year before you can request a review of the rider. […]
[…] We’re thrilled with Humana’s decision, and we’re glad to be able to offer their policies to our clients in Colorado. Jay’s knees are really the first time we’ve had to use our health insurance for anything more than preventive care, and we’re happy to be able to report that everything has worked the way it’s supposed to. […]
[…] health insurance companies are indeed working to be better stewards for the customers they serve – insureds and providers. In 2008 (vs 2007), health insurance companies paid providers 5.3% faster and denied 9% fewer claims. This is what the health insurance industry is in business to do: pay claims, and pay them quickly. […]
[…] I would argue that instead of being considered too big to fail, major health insurance carriers might be seen as too important to fail. AIG’s collapse would have been primarily indirect, but health insurance companies work directly with individual Americans. Even in large groups, individual employees are the ones who carry the id cards with the insurance carrier’s logo on them. […]
[…] it’s all fine and good for a surgeon to have assistants, but doesn’t it seem that those assistants should be part of the same health insurance networks as the primary surgeon? After all of the effort we went through to make sure that we wouldn’t get hit with another out of network charge, this is frustrating to say the least.
[…] I looked at premiums for $5,000 deductible HSA qualified policies from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Assurant, Cigna, Humana, and United HealthOne. If lawmakers disallow the use of gender to determine individual health insurance premiums in Colorado, younger women and older men will have lower premiums, while younger men and older women will have higher premiums. There won’t be any actual benefit to the overall population – health insurance premiums will just be averaged for men and women.
I recently posted an article on the Colorado Health Insurance Insider about my views on making Medicare available as an opt-in option for Americans younger than 65. I got a comment on the article that I thought brought up some good points and wanted to expand on some of the ideas. The reader pointed out that a good number of private health insurance plans are non-profit […]
[…] We did the same math that we always encourage our clients to do when considering various deductible levels. Our current health insurance policy has a $3,000 deductible, and costs $498/month. We found an option with a $5,000 deductible for $341/month. Switching to the $5000 deductible saves $1,884/year in premiums. […]
[…] Provider quality rankings are a piece of the puzzle for sure, but they’re not the only piece. I do think they will get more popular if health insurance carriers start actively encouraging patients to select from among the highest ranking providers. But there are other factors that go into choosing a provider that can’t be quantified on a spreadsheet or a graph.
[…] What it really boils down to is that it doesn’t matter how great the drugs are if people can’t afford them. Here in Colorado we’ve seen more and more health insurance carriers increase copays for drugs, add prescription deductibles, or cover only generic drugs in an effort to keep prescription costs under control. […]
[…] Of course Colorado – like most states – uses medical underwriting on individual health insurance policies. And if underwriting were no longer allowed on Colorado policies, we could very well see the average family premium exceed $700/month. But for now, $5000 goes a long way towards paying for a health insurance policy in Colorado. […]
The Colorado Division of Insurance has finished compiling and organizing the data for 2007. Visit the Colorado Health Insurance Company Complaint Ratio Comparison page to see the updated complaint, revenue, and market share statistics from the division of insurance along with the A.M. Best Rating information we’ve added alongside. We hope this makes it easier for you to shop for health insurance in Colorado, but you can always contact us for our expert assistance at no cost!
We got the EOB from Humana for our son’s PKU test. This test is vitally important for newborns, and not something that anyone should skip for financial reasons. But for the 770,000 Colorado residents without health insurance, a PKU test would cost 18 times as much as it costs for people with health insurance […]
It’s good to see a major health insurance carrier that we represent here in Colorado is spearheading this quest for ideas and change. In the best interests of the American public, the health insurance industry will need to be adaptable over the next several years. Without some major changes to the whole health care system, there is no sign that health insurance premiums […]
We got a notice in the mail yesterday from Humana, one of the health insurance carriers we represent in Colorado. They have revised their definition of complication of pregnancy to include cesareans, but not elective cesareans. I was very pleased to see this, and I’m glad that Humana is differentiating between the two. Obviously someone who schedules a c-section […]
While an employee at a big company might consider $500 to be a high deductible, the majority of our individual health insurance clients in Colorado choose deductibles between $2000 and $5000, in order to keep the premiums down. That same employee at the big company may only be paying a few dollars a week for health insurance (with the employer paying […]