How foolish are health insurance companies?

In many parts of the Country Obamacare exchanges will have only one insurer to choose from. AEtna has withdrawn from many states as have other companies because they are losing money and for which they are highly criticized. Remaining carriers are asking for double digit premium increases. Critics shed doubt on the validity of the insurer’s claims. 

All this is fodder for the single-payer, public option crowd. 

Given the catastrophic consequences of single-payer or a public option for the Nation’s insurance companies (and their employees), could they be so foolish as to be misleading Americans about the current state of things or why they are taking the actions they have?


Categories: Healthcare

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  1. I’m not sure if this is kosher regarding copyright protection, please let me know if it is not, but here is an article from AMBest News today about the Anthem/Cigna merger which the Department of Justice has sued to stop:

    Anthem CEO: ‘We’ve Never Backed Down From Our Optimism’ for Cigna Deal

    NEW YORK – Anthem Inc. is actively preparing for litigation over the U.S. Department of Justice’s move to block its $54.2 billion bid to acquire Cigna Corp., but the company’s chief executive officer said the insurer still hopes its conversations with the department will lead it to reverse its decision.

    “We continue to dialog with the department and certainly expect those conversations to turn into hopefully some decisions in and around remediation,” Joseph Swedish, chairman, president and CEO, said during the Morgan Stanley Global Healthcare Conference in New York.

    In the meantime, Anthem is fully preparing for litigation, he said. The trial is set to begin Nov. 21 and should conclude in December. Anthem expects to hear a final decision by late January.

    “We’re hopeful that once the facts are presented the decision will certainly work in our favor in terms of our ability to go to closing,” Swedish said.

    The deal, which was originally announced in 2015, has an April 30 expiration date. In an August court brief, lawyers for Anthem said the company believes Cigna will terminate the merger agreement if it doesn’t close by the deadline. Cigna could collect a $1.85 billion breakup fee if it hasn’t breached its contractual obligations (Best’s News Service, Aug. 5, 2016).

    The DOJ filed antitrust lawsuits against Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna, along with Aetna Inc.’s planned $37 billion acquisition of Humana Inc., arguing the deals would reshape the health care market and create a competitive advantage for larger health insurers (Best’s News Service, July 21, 2016).

    “We’ve never backed down from our optimism,” Swedish said, adding once the company presents the facts to the court it expects a positive ruling.

    In July, Swedish said the acquisition of Cigna would allow it to continue its commitment to the public health insurance exchanges and allow it to expand into several additional states (Best’s News Service, July 27, 2016).

    Currently on the exchange front, Anthem has received rate approvals in nearly all of its states. In 2017, Anthem expects to break even for its exchange business and 2018 “holds the promise” for a 3% to 5% margin, Swedish said.

    The company sought a 20% rate increase across its 14 states, Brian Griffin, president of Anthem’s commercial and specialty division, said during the call.

    The afternoon of Sept. 13, shares of Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) were $124.19, down 3.41% from the previous close.

    Subsidiaries of Anthem have a current Best’s Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) or A- (Excellent).

    (By Marie Suszynski, BestWeek Correspondent:


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