Health Care Reform – Insurers are seeing the lightPosted: June 24, 2011 Filed under: Health Care Reform | Tags: Blue Shield of California, Health care reform 3 Comments
Health Care Reform has finally made at least one insurance carrier stand up and say “We Do Care”. At least that’s the way I see it and all we need is just one insurance company to step up to the plate. Once one carrier takes a stand maybe others will follow.
Blue Shield of California recently announced if their net earnings are more than 2%, they will return the difference to its customers and the community. No this isn’t a joke. Blue Shield of California is a non-profit organization and normally reinvests earnings. Now they have made a public pledge that they will return premiums over this thresh hold.
So here’s the skinny; The policy begins with the year 2010. In 2010, Blue Shield of California earned $315 million or 3.1% net income. Blue Shield, (are you sitting down?) will credit customers and donate to the community a total of $180 million.
Now picture the little man in the pink section leaping out of his chair and clapping. Yes it’s about time one of the insurance carriers steps up and says “it’s really not about the profits”. I’m guessing Health Care Reform is influencing this decision.
HELLO IS ANYONE LISTENING?
Before I started my business back in the stone age of 2000, I was working for an insurance carrier as a sales rep. I remember trying to get something covered for a member and the response was that the shareholders come first. What’s wrong with that picture? This is where the horror stories come from. Don’t they know that?
But before I go off on a tangent of what should and shouldn’t be, let me tell you what this means.
- Blue Shield clients with coverage in May 2011 will receive a credit on their bill for October 2011.
- The credit will be between $125 or single coverage and $340 depending on family status.
- Small employers must maintain coverage with Blue Shield of California from May through October 2011
Here’s a list of the carriers in Northern California and whether they are for profit or non-profit.
Aetna – for profit
Anthem Blue Cross – for profit
Blue Shield of California – non-profit
Health Net – for profit
Kaiser Permanente – non-profit
Pacificare – for profit
United Healthcare – for profit
So let’s see what happens. Maybe Blue Shield of California will put a little pressure on the other insurance carriers and we will see this theme repeat!
Tell me if you think other carriers will follow suit.
I hope you’re right!
Wouldn’t it be nice if all the carriers were non- profits?
Yes Sharon, it would be nice to see the insurance carriers as non-profit. And thanks for the book recommendation The Healing of America by T.R. Reid. It gave me a whole new perspective.
Pam, I hope I’m right too. Maybe this is just one industry that shouldn’t be about profit.