Insurance giants hiking up their rates! How do we fight back?

From Lilibet Foster:

Dear Mark,

I’m sure you are following this story:
http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-fi-anthem-obama9-2010feb09,0,4564599.story

This also is taking place in NY. I asked my insurance company how my rates could be hiked up more than 25% in one year and the person who answered the phone agreed with me, said he’d had a lot of calls and more or less said that it has to do with the impending health care bill which would force them to lower rates. So they are raising the rates in anticipation of having to lower them. He was by no means an official of the company so I can’t quote him as an authority. However, in the meantime, I received a letter from United/Oxford saying that they were dropping a bunch of NY hospitals from their coverage including, Saint Vincents (which is in trouble) and NY Eye and Ear. I received a letter from NY Eye and Ear saying that they are still in contract negotiations with Oxford/United and the sticking points seem to be that Oxford/United is only paying a portion of reimbursements plus a few other things. (I have the letter that I can send to you).

I’d like to challenge the NY area health insurance companies like they are doing in California. Apparently, NY and NJ are the two most expensive and difficult markets for health care. I for one pay way too much and at the same time, am having services and coverage dropped and lowered every time I pay more. Do you know a group that is involved in the NY side of this issue that I may join?

Thanks again.

lilibet

Obama official ‘very disturbed’ by Anthem Blue Cross rate hikes

The insurer should give a ‘detailed justification’ for its plan to raise premiums on individual policies by as much as 39%, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says.

California insurance regulators asked Anthem Blue Cross to delay controversial rate increases of as much as 39% for individual policies, hikes that have triggered widespread criticism from subscribers and brokers — and now from the federal government.

In a rare step, the Obama administration called on California’s largest for-profit insurer to justify its rate hikes, saying the increases were alarming at a time when subscribers face skyrocketing healthcare costs.

Read more.

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