Friday, February 26, 2010

Health Insurance Rates and Executive Salaries Go Up.

Insurance company proposed 39% rate hike as executives got bonuses

Miami Herald — While Anthem Blue Cross proposed a 39 percent rate increase on thousands of its California customers, its parent company gave 39 of its executives more than $1 million each and spent more than $27 million on 103 lavish executive retreats, congressional investigators said Wednesday.

"One question we asked is where does all of this money go? ... Corporate executives at WellPoint are thriving, while its policyholders are paying the price," Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said at a House of Representatives subcommittee hearing Wednesday.
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Despite outcry, Anthem Blue Cross to go ahead with big rate hike

Christian Science Monitor — Anthem Blue Cross, the health insurer that plans to boost rates by as much as 39 percent in California this year, has become a lightning rod in the national debate over healthcare reform.

In President Obama’s healthcare summit Thursday, both Republicans and Democrats held up the company as an example of why the federal government needs to take steps to keep rising insurance premiums in check.
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Lawmakers Lay Into Wellpoint Over Rates

Wall Street Journal — Insurers faced harsh criticism Wednesday during a congressional hearing on steep premium increases by a Wellpoint Inc. unit in California.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, pointed to internal company documents he said demonstrated that profit influenced the decision by WellPoint's Anthem Blue Cross unit to raise prices on individual insurance plans by as much as 39%.
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