There’s just something fishy about these numbers…

Posted August, 25 2011 by arianne

Did you know that a New Yorker earning minimum wage would have to work an entire year just to earn what Aetna’s CEO earns in just 66 minutes?

Did you know that HIP ended last year with $1 billion (yes, that’s billion) in total capital and surplus?

You would think that insurance companies reporting these kinds of numbers would at least try to make it appear like they have a good reason for asking  their enrollees to cough up more cash.

But, after reading through the information provided by New York’s health insurance plans on why they feel compelled to raise their premiums by as much as 56%, HCFANY is convinced that the numbers just don’t add up.

We recently did a review of the proposed rate increases and corresponding explanations posted on the State Department of Insurance website.  What we found is that not only were insurance companies doing a bad job of explaining why they think these increases are necessary, but in many cases they just didn’t even bother trying.

Now, I can’t speak for everyone here, but if someone tells me that next year they’re going to sell me the same exact product that I’m buying this year, but instead of paying the same price, I have to pay 56% more…I might be inclined to want to know why.

So, HCFANY did some digging to find out  just what these insurance plans are working with.   In some cases we were able to find some limited information from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).  In others, we found zilch.  But in none of the cases did we find a single valid justification for the excessive proposed rate increases sought by these insurance plans.

We put our findings into a brief letter directed to the leaders and membership of the NYS Senate and Assembly insurance committees with a call to launch an investigation of these pricing practices and to consider holding hearings.   Take a gander at it and see what you think.  Remember, it’s never too late to voice your opinion!

Read HCFANY’s Letter here.