When It Comes To Privacy, Some Americans Are Willing To Negotiate

Rich Renomeron

We recently wrote about the apparent reluctance of drivers to join auto insurance programs that could save them money in exchange for giving up some of their privacy. While many people want little to do with this sort of tracking, there are still a large number of consumers who don’t take such a hardline stance and are willing to consider ceding their privacy if they receive some benefit in return. [More]

Progressive's Snapshot has been used by millions of drivers, but many more Progressive customers are just saying no to plugging the tracker into their car for six months.

Some Drivers Don’t Want Insurance Companies Tracking Them, Even If It Means Discounts

A longstanding complaint against auto insurance is that it sometimes lumps in drivers based on things — like location, type of car, and age — that may have little-to-nothing to do with a particular driver’s behavior or history. In recent years, some insurers have begun offering drivers a way to get more personalized rates by allowing the insurance company to track their vehicular movements, but many American consumers simply aren’t willing to share that information. [More]

3 Things We’ve Learned About How Demographics, Credit Scores & Marital Status Affect Your Car Insurance Rates

3 Things We’ve Learned About How Demographics, Credit Scores & Marital Status Affect Your Car Insurance Rates

When you get a quote for car insurance, you might think that only a few things matter — your driving record, the cost and use of your vehicle, the type of coverage you need, and other factors directly related to operating an automobile. But the fact is that many insurers are basing your insurance quotes on data points that have nothing to do with driving, like your credit score, marital status, and ZIP code. New research shows that determining price using these types of demographic and financial factors (rather than driving record alone) can have a serious impact on the affordability of car insurance.  [More]

Read The Fine Print: Allstate Safe Driving Bonus Checks Aren’t Available In All States

Read The Fine Print: Allstate Safe Driving Bonus Checks Aren’t Available In All States

Sometimes, it’s annoying to watch television and see ads for businesses or products that don’t exist in your area, like the Sonic ads on cable that taunted us here in the Northeast for years. In a series of Allstate ads that air nationwide, the insurer talks about a biannual bonus check that customers who don’t get in accidents receive. “Where’s my check?” asked one Allstate customer who hasn’t had an accident in decades. Where, indeed? [More]

Merck disclosed this week that federal prosecutors have requested information on its pricing of prescription asthma medication Dulera.

Big Pharma Companies Also Being Questioned About Drug Prices

Earlier this week, we told you how a Senate committee was investigating huge price hikes on a handful of niche-market prescription drugs. The companies involved in those probes are generally newer, smaller operations — but it looks like two much bigger names in the pharmaceuticals industry are also being asked about the prices of their drugs. [More]

Why Emergency Rooms Are A Hotbed For Surprise Medical Bills

Brian Rome

When you head into the emergency room, you might assume that the doctors you see are hospital employees who accept the same insurance plans as their employer. But nearly two-thirds of hospitals now staff their ERs with freelance physicians who might not accept your insurance plan, meaning you’ll be on the hook for whatever your insurer doesn’t pay. In addition to the potential added financial burden, some patients now have to drive far out of their way to find an ER that won’t hit them with a surprise medical bill. [More]

Towing Company Wants $48,000 For Hauling Jeep Out Of Mud

Towing Company Wants $48,000 For Hauling Jeep Out Of Mud

Part of the fun of owning a Jeep can be taking it off-road, if that’s a thing that interests you. Here’s the problem with driving far from paved roads, though: when someone’s vehicle breaks down or there’s an accident, specialized towing equipment and staff are involved. That’s how one driver ended up with a $48,000 bill that neither he nor his insurance want to pay. [More]

Anthem Blue Cross Will Pay $8.3M To Customers To Settle Class-Action Suit Over Mid-Year Policy Changes

Anthem Blue Cross Will Pay $8.3M To Customers To Settle Class-Action Suit Over Mid-Year Policy Changes

When you sign up for an insurance policy, you’re given a price for that plan for the year. So when California consumers discovered changes to their Anthem Blue Cross policies in the middle of the year that came with extra out-of-pocket costs, two policyholders filed a class-action lawsuit against the insurance provider in 2011. Anthem Blue Cross has now agreed to a settlement that includes reimbursing about 50,000 customers in California almost $8.3 million. [More]

While it had many failings, the Galactic Empire did have an excellent health plan.  (RedandJonny)

Your Health Insurer Could Pay You To Take Your Blood Pressure And Weight (Sort Of)

The kiosks at pharmacies where you can take your blood pressure, pulse, and maybe even weigh yourself aren’t just for killing time while you wait for a prescription. Well, they’re mostly for that, but Walmart will be trying out a new rewards card that compensates customers to visit the checkup kiosks to take a few measurements. [More]

USPS Denies It Has Missing Damaged Package, Still Turns Down Customer’s Insurance Claim After Finding It

USPS Denies It Has Missing Damaged Package, Still Turns Down Customer’s Insurance Claim After Finding It

It’s always a good idea to purchase insurance for your packages, especially if you’re mailing something valuable. But even having that protection didn’t keep one USPS customer from ending up with broken equipment and no insurance payment to cover the cost of replacing or fixing it. [More]

(MeneerDijk)

Hospital Doesn’t Know The Difference Between Copay And Deductible, Sticks Patient With $3,900 Bill

When a California man checked with the hospital about the copay for his daughter’s treatment, the hospital told him it would $500. Except what they meant to tell him was that his insurance deductible would be $500, but that he’d be stuck with a bill for nearly $4,000. [More]

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Insurance Loopholes & Master Pricing: How Surprise Medical Bills Knock Consumers Down

Most of us know which local hospitals and doctors are covered by our insurance providers, but even when we make sure that we only see an in-network physician or surgeon, nearly one-third of privately insured Americans are still hit with higher-than-expected medical bills, often because their in-network hospital brought in or contracted out to an out-of-network service provider. How did we get to the point where so many consumers have so little information about what to expect when their hospital bill arrives? [More]

Woman Says Walmart Tech Totaled Her Car, Company’s Effort To Make It Right Falls Short

Woman Says Walmart Tech Totaled Her Car, Company’s Effort To Make It Right Falls Short

A Texas woman who took her car to her local Walmart’s service center for a routine oil change says a technician totaled the vehicle and now the company isn’t offering her a fair settlement, leaving her stranded and her business suffering. [More]

Class-Action Suit Accuses CVS Of Overcharging Customers For Generic Drugs

Class-Action Suit Accuses CVS Of Overcharging Customers For Generic Drugs

The country’s second largest pharmacy chain is the latest party in a class-action lawsuit that accuses CVS of deliberately overcharging hundreds of thousands of patients for generic prescription drugs. [More]

(Joel Zimmer)

Percentage Of Adults Without Health Insurance Hits New Low

Two years ago, a Gallup survey estimated the percentage of adult Americans without health insurance at more than 17%. Even at the beginning of 2014, as the individual coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act kicked, nearly 16% of Americans over the age of 18 were uninsured. The latest results from the polling organization currently put that rate at 11.4%, lower than any rate since Gallup began this survey in 2008. [More]

SCOTUS Ruling Means Millions Of Americans No Longer At Risk To Lose Health Insurance Subsidies

SCOTUS Ruling Means Millions Of Americans No Longer At Risk To Lose Health Insurance Subsidies

The Affordable Care Act scored a major victory today as the Supreme Court upheld provisions allowing the government to provide tax subsidies for consumers who purchased insurance through the program, although their states don’t have an official insurance exchange of their own. [More]

(cookedphotos)

Cigna Rejects Anthem’s $47B Merger Bid, Says It’s “Deeply Disappointed” By Suitor’s Recent Actions

After Anthem Inc. unveiled its roughly $47 billion bid to merge with fellow health insurer Cigna Corp. over the weekend, the object of its affections swiftly put the kibosh on that proposal. In a letter to Anthem’s board, Cigna said it was “deeply disappointed” with its suitors recent actions, and that the offer wasn’t in the best interest of shareholders. [More]

Lyft To Pay $300,000 To Resolve Claims It Illegally Operated In Some Areas Of New York

Lyft To Pay $300,000 To Resolve Claims It Illegally Operated In Some Areas Of New York

Nearly a year after the New York Attorney General’s office and state insurance regulators filed a lawsuit accusing ride-sharing app Lyft of violating state law in certain areas, the company has agreed to pay $300,000 to resolve the complaint. [More]