*NCHEAT = "Nobody Could Have EVER Anticipated This!"
*HIP = "Health Insurance Parasites"
Nobody saw that comin', did they? A complete surprise. Knock me over with a feather, at the same time youi proffer me a guess as to the amount of time and money the HIPs have ALREADY spent figuring out ways to game every possible scenario that may or may not emerge from Congress...
Report: Insurers enjoy record-breaking profits as they cut 2.7 million people from their rolls
By: Jason Rosenbaum Thursday February 11, 2010 10:42 am
Health Care for America Now has a new report out today on the insurance industry’s profits and customer base [pdf] and the statistics are shocking:The five largest U.S. health insurance companies sailed through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression to set new industry profit records in 2009, a feat accomplished by leaving behind 2.7 million americans who had been inprivate health plans. For customers who kept their benefits, the insurers raised rates and cost-sharing,and cut the share of premiums spent on medical care. Executives and shareholders of the five biggest for-profit health insurers, UnitedHealthGroup inc., WellPoint inc., Aetna Inc., Humana Inc., and Cigna Corp., enjoyed combined profit of $12.2 billion in 2009, up 56 percent from the previous year. It was the best year ever for Big Insurance.
The 2009 financial reports from the nation’s five largest insurance companies reveal that:The firms made $12.2 billion, an increase of $4.4 billion, or 56 percent, from 2008.Four out of the five companies saw earnings increases, with CIGNA’s profits jumping 346 percent.The companies provided private insurance coverage to 2.7 million fewer people than the year before.
Four out of the five companies insured fewer people through private coverage. UnitedHealth alone insured 1.7 million fewer people through employer-based or individual coverage.All but one of the five companies increased the number of people they covered through public insurance programs (Medicaid, CHIP and Medicare). UnitedHealth added 680,000 people in public plans.
The proportion of premium dollars spent on health care expenses went down for three of the five firms, with higher proportions going to administrative expenses and profits.