Blue Shield Of Calif. Adds Additional $283 Million To Policyholder ‘Giveback’
In fulfilling its promise to return excess profits to policyholders, the insurer's return will reach an estimated $450 million in credits by the end of the year.
Los Angeles Times: Blue Shield To Return $283 Million In Excess Profits To Policyholders
Blue Shield of California says it will give customers in the state a $283-million credit on their insurance premiums, saying it is fulfilling a promise to return money to policyholders when its net income exceeds 2 percent of revenue (Helfand and Henningan, 10/14).
San Francisco Chronicle: Blue Shield To Return $450 Million In Credits
Blue Shield of California, which this month started returning $167 million in excess profit to its customers, said Thursday that it would return an additional $283 million by the end of the year. The giveback is part of Blue Shield's promise to cap its profit at 2 percent and return anything above that amount to its policyholders and health care providers. The money being returned in October comes from excess 2010 profit, while Thursday's announcement reflects estimated profit for 2011 (Colliver, 10/14).
CQ HealthBeat: California Insurer Returning Premium Money In A Public Way
White House officials credited the health care overhaul while at least one veteran analyst called the move a public relations stunt. In a news release on its website, Blue Shield Chairman Bruce Bodaken outlined how the company would return the money to policyholders in the form of credits on their premiums. For example, Blue Shield individuals and fully insured group customers will each get a 54 percent credit against one month of premium. That translates into about a $135 credit for an individual and a $420 credit for a family of four (Bunis, 10/13).
The Sacramento Bee: Blue Shield To Return $283 Million To Customers
Customers of Blue Shield of California will see their December premiums reduced substantially – the result of the insurer's pledge to cap profits at 2 percent of revenue. The giant insurer said Thursday that it would return about $283 million to individual and group customers in credits against their premiums. Customers will receive the credits in their December bills. Blue Shield said the credit will be about $420 for the average family of four and $135 for an individual subscriber (Smith, 10/14).
In other news, a study finds most insurers face little competition in states' individual and small group markets –
Modern Healthcare: Insurer Competition 'Modest' in Many States: Study
Health insurers face "modest" competition in many states' individual and small group markets, according to a newly published study. Research by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation found a single insurer claimed at least half of the individual health insurance market in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Market share was measured by the number of people enrolled in a health plan. Among small group insurers, one insurer enrolled at least 51 percent of those covered in 24 states and the District of Columbia (Evans, 10/13).
The Connecticut Mirror: Connecticut's Individual Insurance Market Is Highly Concentrated
Connecticut is one of 30 states in which more than half the individual insurance market is dominated by a single insurer, but has more insurers with at least 5 percent of the market than nearly half the other states, according to a report released Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The report examined the competitiveness of states' insurance markets and the potential implications for federal health reform. Authors Cynthia Cox and Larry Levitt noted that concentration in the insurance market can be good and bad for health care costs (Levin Becker, 10/13).
Georgia Health News: Ga. Shows Health Competition On Insurance
Georgia's health insurance market is among the more competitive in the nation, a newly released study indicates. Seven health insurers in Georgia each have more than a 5 percent market share for individual policies, according to the study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, released Thursday. That means Georgia is tied for No. 1 among the states in the number of insurers with that level of market share. The largest insurer for individual policies, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, holds 47 percent of the market in the state, the analysis found (Miller, 10/14).
Also, insurers face a new battleground in terms of laws mandating equivalent mental illness coverage –
The New York Times: Eating Disorders A New Front In Insurance Fight
People with eating disorders like anorexia have opened up a new battleground in the insurance wars, testing the boundaries of laws mandating equivalent coverage for mental illnesses (Pollack, 10/13).