Health Secretary Slams Insurers for ‘Misinformation’

Friday, 10 Sep 2010 07:18 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Bloomberg - Health insurers were criticized by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for “falsely blaming” premium increases on the health law signed in March by President Barack Obama.

Sebelius said in a letter today that insurers should immediately stop spreading “misinformation” about the health law. The letter did not name any insurers and was sent to Karen Ignagni, chief executive officer of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the Washington trade group representing the industry.

Insurers and the Obama administration disagreed repeatedly earlier this year during debate on the health-care overhaul proposal that became law on March 23. Insurer shares have dropped 6 percent since the law was enacted, as measured by the Standard & Poor’s Managed Health Care Index.

“It has come to my attention that several health insurer carriers are sending letters to their enrollees falsely blaming premium increases for 2011 on the patient protections in the Affordable Care Act,” Sebelius wrote, referring to the health overhaul.

“I urge you to inform your members that there will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increase,” she said in the letter.

Ignani, the insurance group CEO, responded to the criticism by saying premium increases reflected “a basic law of economics.”

‘Soaring Prices’

“Health insurance premiums are increasing because of soaring prices for medical services, the impact of younger and healthier people dropping their insurance during the weak economy, and additional benefits required under the new law” Ignani said in an e-mail.

The insurers that sent the letters to enrollees include Portland, Oregon-based Regence Group, Obama administration spokesman Nick Papas said in a telephone interview. Regence is a not-for-profit Blue Shield health plan that offers insurance in several states in the northwestern U.S. Samantha Reese, spokeswoman for Regence, confirmed that the insurer had sent letters about premium increases to beneficiaries.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois sent similar correspondence, Papas said in an e-mail. Mary Ann Schultz, listed by the Illinois company on its website as a spokeswoman, did not immediately return a call and e-mail requesting comment.

The Illinois plan is a unit of Health Care Services Corp., a Chicago-based customer-owned mutual company that operates plans in several states.

 

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Teacher Tried to Stop Washington State Shooting

Saturday, 25 Oct 2014 15:56 PM

A union official says a newly hired high school teacher confronted a gunman during a deadly shooting at a Washington sta . . .

Ebola Airport Order Opens Cuomo-de Blasio Rift

Saturday, 25 Oct 2014 15:20 PM

A decision by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to subject medical personnel to a 21-day qua . . .

Early Voting Alters Campaigns' Strategies, Costs

Saturday, 25 Oct 2014 14:35 PM

For over 1 million Californians, the Nov. 4 election is over. That's because they've already voted. A growing throng of  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved