Insurance Co. behavior: Exhibit A in case for reform?

There’s been a lot of noise made in the past few weeks over the prospect of federal reform of our health care delivery system.

It goes without saying that some of the loudest opinions have been voiced by naysayers who seem to embrace insurance company profiteering as a cause célèbre.

But given a prompt, consumers not even engaged in the debate will step up to spill out stories of how insurance companies have made their lives more stressful and difficult.

On Friday, the prompt came in the form of an article by Bobby Caina Calvan in the Sacramento Bee, which suggests that insurance companies are up to some shenanigans — or worse: possibly illegal practices being investigated by California Attorney General Jerry Brown.

Caina wrote that the California Nurses Association released a report that alleges insurers in California have rejected a fifth of all claims received over the past seven years.

“The nurses union said some of the companies had denial rates between 27 percent and 40 percent during the first six months of this year, with PacifiCare rejecting 39.6 percent of claims it received.
The CNA said Cigna rejected 32.7 percent, Health Net 30 percent, Kaiser Permanente 28.3 percent and Blue Cross 27.9 percent. The union said it based its findings on financial data insurers are required to report to the state.”

Several of the comments posted in response were anecdotes about consumers having to fight their insurance companies to get the medical bill coverage they bought and paid for.

At the end of the day, misbehaving insurance companies may well serve as Exhibit A in the case for reform….betraying even their very public defenders.

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