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Health & Medical UnderGround >> Health insurance companies dump small companies


8/30/09 12:29 AM
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GucciGucciGucci
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R I P

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Small Biz Purging: When Companies Lose Health Care

When a worker at a small business becomes gravely ill, insurance providers often later dump the company, a practice reforms may not address

By Joshua Kendall

BusinessWeek / Policy August 7, 2009, 1:03PM EST

Purging: It's an ugly word, and it describes an ugly practice. But Wendell Potter, formerly the director of media relations for CIGNA (CI), says that's exactly what health-insurance companies do when an employee at a small business is unexpectedly hit with a sudden, and expensive, illness: The insurance company "purges" the small company from their rolls.

In June testimony before U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, Potter said health-insurance companies "dump small businesses whose employees' medical claims exceed what insurance underwriters expected. All it takes is one illness or accident among employees at a small business to prompt an insurance company to hike the next year's premiums so high that the employer has to cut benefits, shop for another carrier, or stop offering coverage altogether—leaving workers uninsured. The practice is known in the industry as purging."

Statements from Potter's former boss, CIGNA President David Cordani, bear out Potter's testimony. In a February conference call with analysts, Cordani said: "In 2008 we were essentially actively decreasing our posture in several markets, particularly the under-50 book of business. You could use the term 'purge' if you'd like. You could also use the term 'hard harvests' or 'soft exits.'"

While the practice of intentionally making health insurance unaffordable for a small company may seem shocking, Len Nichols, a health policy analyst at the Washington nonpartisan think tank New America Foundation, isn't surprised in the least. Of purging, he says, "It's always gone on. It's the way business is conducted."..........

MORE:

http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/aug2009/sb2009087_865725.htm
8/30/09 12:59 AM
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ProteusSFM
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CIGNA is a notorious piece of shit. I know many doctors with private pratices that no longer deal with them.
8/30/09 1:07 AM
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IDXtreme
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Government is the problem, not the solution
8/30/09 1:09 AM
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banco
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IDXtreme - Government is the problem, not the solution


Yes it's the Government forcing insurance companies to drop small businesses you moran.
8/30/09 1:14 AM
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clattymine
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banco - 
IDXtreme - Government is the problem, not the solution


Yes it's the Government forcing insurance companies to drop small businesses you moran.



An indirect result of it, yes.
8/30/09 1:17 AM
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Entreri
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Oh Canada =)



In the US, obviously employees at small businesses should not become gravely ill or even ill for that matter. Work you dogs!
8/30/09 1:23 AM
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Sandy Pantz
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I don't understand why a business should supply your healthcare to start with. Should they be providing your auto insurance too? And your home insurance?
8/30/09 1:26 AM
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banco
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rock1775 - 
banco - 
IDXtreme - Government is the problem, not the solution


Yes it's the Government forcing insurance companies to drop small businesses you moran.

 banco,tell me what you think the Govt is doing great right now?


The seniors seem to be pretty happy with medicare. You'll notice that even the GOP is defending medicare when if they weren't cynical hypocrites they would be arguing for its dismantling.
8/30/09 1:27 AM
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Sandy Pantz
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rock1775 - 
Sandy Pantz - I don't understand why a business should supply your healthcare to start with. Should they be providing your auto insurance too? And your home insurance?

 but what if you have no car,should they buy you a car,gas........???


no, the government should provide those things, silly
8/30/09 1:33 AM
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HardyJenns
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banco - 
rock1775 - 
banco - 
IDXtreme - Government is the problem, not the solution


Yes it's the Government forcing insurance companies to drop small businesses you moran.

 banco,tell me what you think the Govt is doing great right now?


The seniors seem to be pretty happy with medicare. You'll notice that even the GOP is defending medicare when if they weren't cynical hypocrites they would be arguing for its dismantling.



Medicare sucks-- they feel that they've paid into it and deserve it for free, but Medicare sucked ASS before part D was added. It gave no drug benefit and only covered 80% of all costs.

We can't just give everyone Medicare-- it would bankrupt the country instantly

It is far too wasteful and inefficient compared to private insurance, and doctors actually lose money most of the time seeing medicare patients

Ask a patient on medicare who moves to a new city if he can find a new doc? No docs take it if they have a choice, especially primary care docs
8/30/09 1:34 AM
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drjim
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Most small businesses should belong to an association which would prevent this.
8/30/09 3:42 AM
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banco
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rock1775 -  banco,Medicare sucks..and it`s bankrupt.


If it sucks so much why is it such a popular program?
8/30/09 11:33 AM
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gregbrady
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How is a govt. run anything 20% less efficient than private companies? That's the profit margin built into private health insurance companies. 20% of your premiums don't go towards lowering your rates or providing better service, it goes directly to the executives and shareholders. That money is wasted as far as you an I are concerned. There is not nearly %20 of a waste factor in any govt. run entity.
8/30/09 2:38 PM
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crescentwrench
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banco - 
If it sucks so much why is it such a popular program?

The same reason Social Security is popular.
 
8/30/09 2:38 PM
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jettdogg
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gregbrady - How is a govt. run anything 20% less efficient than private companies? That's the profit margin built into private health insurance companies. 20% of your premiums don't go towards lowering your rates or providing better service, it goes directly to the executives and shareholders. That money is wasted as far as you an I are concerned. There is not nearly %20 of a waste factor in any govt. run entity.

Just remember Obama is evil and quit talking about insurance company profits and purging of small businesses. Stay with the program. How can you not understand that the CEO's of all insurance companies should all be worth at least a billion?
8/30/09 7:49 PM
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HardyJenns
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jettdogg - 
gregbrady - How is a govt. run anything 20% less efficient than private companies? That's the profit margin built into private health insurance companies. 20% of your premiums don't go towards lowering your rates or providing better service, it goes directly to the executives and shareholders. That money is wasted as far as you an I are concerned. There is not nearly %20 of a waste factor in any govt. run entity.

Just remember Obama is evil and quit talking about insurance company profits and purging of small businesses. Stay with the program. How can you not understand that the CEO's of all insurance companies should all be worth at least a billion?



50% of all insurance companies in the US today are non-profit, like several Blue Cross/Blue Shield state orgs

They are actually MUCH more efficient than Medicare-- Medicare has so much waste and inefficiency for lower quality care it's laughable

Medicare is popular because it's "free". People feel like they've already paid for it their whole lives. Patients hate it, doctors hate it, hospitals hate it.
8/30/09 10:27 PM
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angryinch
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 sigh

fuck the insurance companies.   fuck them right up the ass!

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