There’s a 2-year-old in New Jersey whose cerebral palsy makes it impossible for him to walk or even sit up without support. But according to the computers at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, he should give a cane a try before Anthem forks over the cash for a wheelchair.
We’re sure that most of you were sitting around thinking that the one thing the U.S. health insurance business needs is to be even less human than it is currently. And it looks like the folks at the health insurance behemoth WellPoint have heard those thoughts, because they have decided to “hire” Watson, the IBM supercomputer that beat two humans on Jeopardy earlier this year to help them decide on issues of treatment for policyholders.
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.
Last week, we told you how Anthem Blue Cross of California had decided it no longer wants to take credit card payments and will soon start charging $15 “convenience” fees for those still wishing to pay by plastic. But now that the California Attorney General is looking into the matter, Anthem has put that plan on hold.
Anthem Blue Cross, along with its parent company, perennial Worst Company In America contender WellPoint, is known for many things — trying to jack up rates on policyholders by upward of 30%, practicing rescission on breast cancer patients, and leaking customers’ credit card information online. Basically everything except for providing quality health insurance. You can soon add another item to Anthem’s long list of qualifications when it stops allowing credit card payments, except for those willing to pay a $15 convenience fee.
A WCIA tournament vet faces everyone’s least-favorite newcomer in today’s Elite 8 bloodbath.
Two rounds of WCIA bloodshed are in the book and the beaten bodies of 24 multi-billion dollar companies are being hauled off to be burned on a pyre. But for those businesses left standing — let’s call them the Elite 8 — the parade of pain marches on.
In honor of April 1, we present this WCIA faceoff between a pair of fools — One that makes medicines no one can sell and the other that takes your insurance premium but offers you no insurance.
After eight days and 16 first round battles, the WCIA steel cage is littered with the bones of those companies not crappy enough to continue on in the tournament. But the thrill of victory is fleeting for the remaining combatants, all of whom must square off again if they hope of crowning themselves the Worst Company In America!
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.
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.
Nearly five months ago, Anthem Blue Cross of California and parent company WellPoint put their names in the running for Biggest Dickheads of 2010 by trying to raise rates upward of 39% for individual policyholders, a move that put the entire insurance industry under the legal and legislative microscope. In a move to seem like only a huge dickface, the insurance giant announced yesterday that it’s now proposing less grandiose rate increases.
Health insurance giant WellPoint has already annoyed its customers by trying to jack up their rates and dropping breast cancer patients’ coverage after they’d been diagnosed with the disease. But now they really have some explaining to do, after a security breach exposed medical records, credit card numbers and other information of 470,000 customers.
Maybe you’re reading this on your iPhone while sitting in your doctor’s waiting room. If so, look around you. Because one out of the five of you in the room will have your claim processed incorrectly by your insurance company.
Lest you think nickle-and-dime fees for services that were once free is the sole purview of the airline industry, a new report in USA Today claims that the more and more physicians in the U.S. are going the route of charging money for services they say aren’t covered by health insurance.
I don’t know what health insurer Wellpoint’s problem is but it seems, judging from the stories our readers keep sending in, that lately you have to email the CEO to get simple account problems fixed. What’s going on in your call centers, Wellpoint? Maybe all the workers have rebelled and decided the best way to promote health care reform is to get all your customers to hate you. Zach was able to get his deductible rolled over, but only after he emailed the very top of the Wellpoint power pyramid, Angela Braly. Here’s his story:
Is it too late for WellPoint to get into the Worst Company In America competition? A new report says the insurance giant and its subsidiaries have been deliberately targeting policyholders recently diagnosed with breast cancer and going to great lengths to have their policies nullified.
The showdown over skyrocketing insurance rates in California got even nastier yesterday. The state’s Attorney General’s office announced that it has subpoenaed financial documents and launched an investigation into allegations of illegal premium hikes and wrongfully denied claims by seven separate health insurance providers.