Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Insurance news: Clinton argues that nation can't afford NOT to fix health care, insurers profits not as high as many think, and CA gets closer to pay-as-you-drive auto coverage

Insurance news today:

The Associated Press reports that Bill Clinton is urging Senate Dems to pass health care: "My argument was that this is an economic imperative," Clinton said after the closed-door meeting, citing ever-higher medical costs and nearly 50 million uninsured.

ABC News has a story looking at how much money health insurers have been making, headlining it "Health insurance profits: Not so outrageous after all?"  Story includes interesting data, with a breakdown of how recent investment losses affected profits. (And a reader hastens to point out that here in Washington state, the major health plans are not-for-profits.)

Speaking of health insurers, the Philadelphia Inquirer has a story about doctors unhappy with insurers. From it:
"My colleagues and I spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone arguing with insurance companies for therapies we know are right. It's reached a breaking point," said John Maris, chief of the oncology division at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
California, meanwhile, is getting closer to Pay-As-You-Drive insurance, Cars.com reports. That state's insurance commissioner, Steve Poizner, has authorized new rules allowing such plans to move ahead.

In sunny -- and stormy -- Florida, Tallahassee.com has an interesting opinion piece about the state of property insurance there:
In terms of property insurance, homeowners have been living in something of a fool's paradise in Florida for several years. There's little evidence that, if a major hurricane strikes, property owners would be sufficiently covered, given the anticipated withdrawal of State Farm from the market — thanks to a political showdown two years ago with Gov. Charlie Crist, who said the insurance giant's rate request was unreasonable. But those 770,000 customers are not necessarily ensured of coverage in a market where incoming companies haven't shown much interest in mom-and-pop properties. These largely unregulated "surplus lines" specialize in high-risk, commercial, waterfront properties instead.
Lastly, broad health insurance reforms are moving ahead rapidly, in Kenya. The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation reports that Kenya's government aims to have all Kenyans covered with health insurance by 2017.

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