June 28, 2012 |
The Supreme Court is shaking up the political chessboard today by ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act - a.k.a. "Obamacare" - and there is one player who will win no matter what the decision may be: the insurance industry. When Congress was debating healthcare three years ago, health insurers were no fans of reform. They were making gobs of money with the system just as it was. For years, their lobbyists managed to kill any attempt to tinker with the status quo, and major tinkering, like instituting a Canadian-style single-payer scheme, was out of the question because it would cut them out of the healthcare equation. Also, for sensible business reasons, insurers had never been especially keen on being forced to offer coverage to people with preexisting medical conditions or to pay for preventative care or various other benefits the Democrats and President Obama wanted as part of a healthcare reform package.
June 5, 1985 |
Unocal, fresh from its battle with Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens Jr., on Tuesday sued four insurance companies for allegedly canceling liability insurance policies on Unocal's directors the day after Pickens disclosed his 7.9% interest in the Los Angeles-based oil company. In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Unocal claims that the insurance companies' actions were illegal and fraudulent.
November 19, 2013 |
"We didn't do a good enough job in terms of how we crafted the law," an apologetic President Obama said this month, shortly after millions of Americans got notices from their health insurance companies that their current policies were going to be canceled because the policies didn't comply with the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act. Worse, the federal website where people were supposed to be able to buy replacement coverage was still barely...
December 5, 2012 |
Consumers saved nearly $1.5 billion in 2011 as a result of rules in President Obama's healthcare law that limit what insurance companies can spend on expenses unrelated to medical care, including profit, a new analysis shows. Much of those savings -- an estimated $1.1 billion -- came in rebates to consumers required because insurers had exceeded the required limits. The study by the New York-based Commonwealth Fund also suggests that the Affordable Care Act forced insurers to become more efficient by limiting their administrative expenses, a key goal of the 2010 law. In some cases, insurers passed savings on to consumers in the form of lower premiums and higher spending on medical care, the researchers found.
September 8, 2012 |
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.
October 16, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - State pharmacy regulators have opened an investigation into reports that CVS Caremark Corp. refilled prescriptions and billed insurance companies without patients' consent. Virginia Herold, executive officer of the California Board of Pharmacy, said Tuesday that investigators were probing complaints about the refill practices of the country's largest drugstore chain after Walgreen Co. Herold said the complaints concerning "CVS and refills" were similar to allegations raised in four Los Angeles Times reports published in the last three months.