The Supreme Court may end up overturning some of the consumer-focused provisions in the Affordable Care Act, but UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest insurer, says even if that happens, it’ll stick to the changes.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, health insurers must spend at least 80% of the money they earn from premiums on actually providing health care, with the remaining cash used to cover all administrative, advertising and payroll costs. Those insurers with plans that don’t follow this ratio are soon supposed to start giving the extra money back in refunds and discounts. But new legislation introduced in the Senate this week could jeopardize this, while giving insurance companies even more money to stick in their dog pillows.
Last June, when the American Medical Association announced its finding that nearly one out of every five health insurance claims had been processed incorrectly, it had probably hoped it was giving the insurance biz a much needed kick in the pants. But one year and another AMA report card later, that statistic remains virtually unchanged.
The good news is that after having two procedures on her spine last fall, Jackie is able to walk again. The bad news is that even though the two procedures were identitcal, United is only paying for the first one and not the second, and won’t actually explain why. She has appealed the decision, but things don’t look promising.
According to a recent study, the cost of health insurance coverage for a family of four has soared 131% since 1999. And the insurance companies continue to seek double-digit rate hikes even while profiting from peoples’ reluctance to seek medical care. Thus, as part of the Affordable Care Act, the Dept. of Health & Human Services has just issued a new to help define what constitutes an unreasonable health insurance rate increase.
Let’s hope no one gets hurt during this shootout between two health care hellions, because there’s a good chance they’ll deny themselves coverage.
For the sixth year in a row, we asked Consumerist readers to send us their nominations for our Worst Company In America tournament. And this year’s response was the greatest by far.
Health insurance is often complicated, with a seemingly endless variety of plans to choose from, all with their own particular loopholes and problems. Over at SmartMoney.com, they have put together a round-up of things your insurance company may not be telling you.
Claire figured her health plan would cover her flu shot, and double-checked with her provider just to make sure. Then she went in to Rite Aid to get the deed done, only to discover she was out of luck because her insurance didn’t cover the specific vaccine offered at the pharmacy.
The health insurance industry is generally known for its efficiency, generosity and — of course — for its customer-first attitude. That’s why it comes as such a shock that several of the more beloved insurance institutions like Wellpoint, Aetna, Cigna and United Healthcare have decided to stop selling you insurance policies for your sick children.
Reader Monica used a trick she learned on Consumerist and got her health insurance company to pay her more than 11 big fat Benjamins.
Inside, email addresses, phone numbers, and addresses for over 100 different companies to inject your customer service complaints into their corporate executive offices, and get it well on the way to success.
Here’s your eighth and final “Sweet 16” match-up:
This is Round 31 in our Worst Company in America contest, Chase vs United Healthcare. Vote which sucks more, inside…
Alexis, who had been fighting for 10.5 months to get United Health Care to pay for her checkup that should have been covered, finally found success after launching an EECB (executive email carpet bomb) with information that we provided her.
A Consumer Advocate named April from the Executive Office left me a message. She said my claim had been “reprocessed appropriately” and that a check was sent to my doctor’s office, OB-GYN Associates of Pittsburgh, yesterday with the remaining balance. She said that the doctor I saw was indeed a UHC contracted doctor (no kidding!), and that my only responsibility was the $10 co-pay that I paid at the time of the visit.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo told UnitedHealthcare to expect a lawsuit if they publish a ranking of doctors based on the cost of care to the insurer. UnitedHealthcare caused a furor in Missouri after introducing a similar ranking scheme in 2005.
Missouri doctors cited numerous objections to the pilot program, which was halted and is being redesigned. For example, most faculty members of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis were initially excluded from the quality rankings because university-based care is generally more expensive. Doctors in major specialties were ranked by cost alone.