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OPINION
December 17, 2013 | Jonah Goldberg
When will the insurers revolt? It's a question that's popping up more and more. On the surface, the question answers itself. We're talking about pinstriped insurance company executives, not Hell's Angels. One doesn't want to paint with too broad a brush, but if you were going to guess which vocations lend themselves least to revolutionary zeal, the actuary sciences rank slightly behind embalmers. Still, it's hard not to wonder how much more these people are willing to take. Even an obedient dog will bite if you kick it enough.
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OPINION
June 27, 2007
Re " 'Sicko' leaves top hopefuls ill at ease," June 22 Sure the top presidential hopefuls feel ill at ease, and they should. You didn't mention the real underlying reason why they oppose a national healthcare program such as most modern industrial nations have. It's money that they get from the health insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry. As long as campaigns are financed by private money, we all will suffer the consequences. STAN GORDON Canoga Park
BUSINESS
September 8, 2012 | By Lisa Zamosky, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is changing the way insurers do business. A few years from now, you may see your health plan in a different light. You might even decide you like it - even if it's not that much more affordable. But it's not all good news: Future employers are also expected to shift more costs to employees, and consumers will generally take on more of their healthcare expenses. "A greater role in cost sharing is really forcing consumers to take a hard look at the care they access," said Robin Gelburd, president of Fair Health, a New York City nonprofit that provides healthcare cost information.
BUSINESS
September 7, 1986
The Aug. 31 article by John F. Lawrence ("It's Time for Health Insurers to Wise Up!") is long overdue. As a senior citizen, I am provoked by the documention required by health insurance companies for honoring claims for the relatively small unpaid portion of the charge approved by Medicare. Also, I have been informed that a minimum of six weeks will elapse before payment. The insurance company that handles my Medicare claims also handles my company's employee health plan. Nevertheless, I must provide two claims and two copies of all bills.
BUSINESS
March 31, 2004 | From Reuters
New York Atty. Gen. Eliot Spitzer said health insurance companies had been withholding information from patients about how they decide which procedures are medically necessary, and threatened to punish them if they are not more forthcoming. Spitzer's office released results of a survey of insurers showing that nearly all health plans violated the law by failing to disclose the criteria they use to evaluate whether a medical procedure would be covered. The New York Health Plan Assn.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 12, 1998 | JOSE CARDENAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The owner of a Sherman Oaks acupuncture clinic that catered to the entertainment industry pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges of billing insurance companies for hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical services that were not performed or were not needed by the patients. Miriam Yedvab, 49, of Tarzana signed the plea agreement before U.S. District Judge William D. Keller in downtown Los Angeles.
NEWS
July 15, 1997 | Associated Press
President Clinton offered legislation Monday to bar health insurance companies from discriminating against apparently healthy people on the basis of their genetic backgrounds. Clinton said genetic testing is a miracle of science, one that poses the possibility of predicting and curing diseases, such as breast cancer. But, he said, millions of families fear that the results of genetic testing will cause them to lose the health insurance they need to battle disease and illness.
BUSINESS
October 16, 1994
In "Lost Health Insurance Deduction Is a Bitter Pill for Self-Employed" (Sept. 7) contained the astounding information that corporations tax-deduct 100% of the cost of providing insurance for their employees. Self-employed persons were allowed a 25% tax deduction, which costs the Treasury $500 million a year. Expanding that to 100% would cost $2.5 billion a year. So the message is loud and clear: Who has been footing the bill for health care in America? Include Medicare, Medicaid, health care research, medical school subsidies, other health care tax deductions, and you can readily see that our federal government pays most of the $1 trillion to support our health care industry.
BUSINESS
December 14, 2008
The consumer column on employer health plans was right on the mark. ("Employer health plans: OK to ditch?" Dec. 10.) I would add that employer-sponsored insurance is also an inequitable way to finance care. Younger workers pay a disproportionate share. A tax-based system would be more equitable because the older and generally higher-paid workers pay more in taxes. Of course, it is the older workers who are more at risk of losing their jobs and not being able to find insurance. The reality that we fail to grasp is that most Americans, both young and old, are just one job loss and one serious illness away from complete financial ruin.
BUSINESS
November 15, 2011 | By Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times
For the second time in eight months, California health insurer Anthem Blue Cross is being sued over allegations that it has breached contracts with individual policyholders for hiking annual insurance deductibles in the middle of the year. The latest lawsuit, filed Monday by the group Consumer Watchdog, says that California's largest for-profit health insurance company used "bait and switch" tactics to raise deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for some customers May 1. Anthem, the consumer group contends, violated state law by misrepresenting the cost of its coverage for more than 100,000 customers.
BUSINESS
September 1, 2011 | By Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times
A bill that would allow California officials to regulate health insurance rates for millions of consumers has died in the Legislature after forceful lobbying campaigns by insurers, healthcare providers and other groups. Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) said he is pulling his measure, AB52, because he could not muster a majority of votes in the state Senate, the final stop in a months-long effort to increase state regulators' authority over health insurance premiums. Feuer said he is putting his bill on hold until next year, when it can be taken up again.
OPINION
March 29, 2010 | By Patrick Johnston
In the run-up to last weekend's vote on healthcare reform, much of the debate painted health insurance companies as villains. Now that a bill has passed, we need to have a calm, rational discussion about the many serious issues that threaten the stability of our healthcare system. I lead an organization that lobbies state lawmakers and works with regulators on behalf of California health plans. But I am also an employer, and our organization -- like other small businesses -- has had to cope with the rising cost of health insurance premiums.
NATIONAL
August 16, 2009 | Maeve Reston
Continuing his campaign for an overhaul of the nation's healthcare system, President Obama promised his audience here in western Colorado on Saturday that his effort would create a "common-sense set of consumer protections" for Americans with health insurance. In an effort to soothe concerns amid the contentious healthcare debate, the president pledged that new legislation would ease the burdens of average consumers by capping the amount insurance companies can charge annually for out-of-pocket costs like co-pays and deductibles.
BUSINESS
December 14, 2008
The consumer column on employer health plans was right on the mark. ("Employer health plans: OK to ditch?" Dec. 10.) I would add that employer-sponsored insurance is also an inequitable way to finance care. Younger workers pay a disproportionate share. A tax-based system would be more equitable because the older and generally higher-paid workers pay more in taxes. Of course, it is the older workers who are more at risk of losing their jobs and not being able to find insurance. The reality that we fail to grasp is that most Americans, both young and old, are just one job loss and one serious illness away from complete financial ruin.
BUSINESS
July 23, 2008 | Lisa Girion, Times Staff Writer
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law Tuesday a ban against health insurance companies rewarding employees with bonuses for canceling or limiting a patient's coverage. The law is one piece of legislative, regulatory and law enforcement efforts to curtail the practice that the industry has defended as a little-used guard against fraud that helps control costs.
BUSINESS
October 10, 1990 | From Associated Press
Commercial health-insurance companies spend 14 times as much as the federal Medicare program does on administration, overhead and marketing, a private group said Tuesday. And the private-insurance sector spent 11 times as much per dollar of claims paid as the Canadian national health-care system, according to a report by the group, Citizen Action.
BUSINESS
January 19, 1988 | GREG JOHNSON, Times Staff Writer
A doctor-owned health insurance company took its first step toward becoming a reality Friday when about 225 San Diego physicians contributed a total of $1.5 million to fund the proposed company's administrative arm. Doxx Enterprises now must raise $3 million in capital that is needed to fund the actual insurance company, according to Jack Ingber, a former aerospace and electronics industry executive who serves as chief executive of San Diego-based Doxx.
BUSINESS
July 15, 2008 | Marc Lifsher, Times Staff Writer
California doctors won a victory against health insurers in Sacramento on Monday when the Assembly approved a bill to toughen the state's power to fine insurers for failing to pay medical bills. But the measure now goes to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is coming under pressure from HMOs and his own regulators to issue a veto.
BUSINESS
June 17, 2008 | Lisa Girion, Times Staff Writer
Insurance companies often fail to properly reimburse doctors, needlessly adding more than $200 billion a year to the nation's healthcare tab, the American Medical Assn. said Monday. An analysis of 3 million medical claims over a six-month period beginning in October also found that doctors in the U.S. spend 14% of the fees they receive from insurers and Medicare on the process of collecting those fees, the AMA said in a report issued at its annual meeting in Chicago.
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