Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Back in 2009, Aetna dropped insurance for 350,000 people to increase health care profits.

I happen to notice a reader from India checking out an old post that reminded me of what health insurance was like before the ACA. This is what health care will like in this country once we put insurers back in charge via Trump/Ryan.

Insurers? Yes. You might not hear Republicans mention insurance companies very often if at all, but you will hear "patient centered" and "doctor/patient decisions."

In reality, insurers will be calling all the shots; what network for care, what doctors, what hospitals, how much coverage you'll get, what the price will be, co-pays and deductibles...you know, real freedom and liberty like stuff.

And insurers must make a big profit or else...they'll dumb hundreds of thousands by raising rates to unaffordable levels, except for the healthy wealthy.

From December, 2009: Aetna cuts 600,000 lives for profit
They cut members before for profit.
HuffingtonPost: "In a third-quarter earnings conference call in late October, officials at Aetna announced that in an effort to improve on a less-than-anticipated profit margin in 2009, they would be raising prices on their consumers in 2010. The insurance giant predicted that the company would subsequently lose between 300,000 and 350,000 members next year from its national account as well as another 300,000 from smaller group accounts.

Aetna’s decision to downsize the number of clients in favor of higher premiums is, as one industry analyst told American Medical News, a "pretty candid" admission. It also reflects the major concerns offered by health care reform proponents and supporters of a public option for insurance coverage, who insist that the private health insurance industry is too consumed with the bottom line. A government-run plan would operate solely off its members’ premiums."

Aetna is following the insurance company playbook as articulated last year by Wellpoint CEO Angela Braly when she said, "We will not sacrifice profitability for membership." In other words, the insurance companies won’t sell health coverage to more people if it means they will make less money on each person.

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