Insurers Are Often Chastised For Poor Service But Some Are Working To Improve Reputations
Modern Healthcare looks at consumers' frustrations with their insurance companies. Meanwhile, the rate of uninsured falls to an all-time low in Massachusetts, and Republicans on Capitol Hill gear up to fight any efforts to give insurers extra money for health law programs.
What Insurers Are Doing To Fix Their Reputation For Awful Customer Service
Cindi Rountree knew she was fed up with her health insurer after she was told she had to drive 80 miles if she wanted to buy a new breast prosthesis at a lower, in-network rate. That was not the only challenge Rountree, a breast cancer survivor, had with her insurer, the now-defunct Kentucky Health Cooperative. ... Rountree's experience provides a glimpse into the failures of the ACA's co-ops, which were both underfunded and underpriced. But her frustrations, and those of many other people who have voluntarily reached out to Modern Healthcare, also show that health insurance companies of all sizes still have not mastered the art of customer service. ... A May 2016 CMS' Office of the Medicare Ombudsman (PDF) fielded more than 97,000 online and phone complaints from people enrolled in Medicare Advantage and Part D plans in 2013, according to the office's most recent report to Congress. (Herman, 9/17)
Rate Of Uninsured In Mass. Reaches All-Time Low
Fewer than 3 percent of Massachusetts residents lacked health insurance last year, an all-time low in a state that served as a model for President Obama’s federal health care overhaul. Figures released last week by the US Census Bureau show that at 2.8 percent, Massachusetts has fortified its longstanding position as the state with the lowest rate of uninsured residents. Nationally, 9.4 percent of people had no health insurance, down from 15.5 percent in 2010. The uninsured rate had already been steadily declining in Massachusetts. For example, it stood at 4.4 percent in 2010, the year the federal Affordable Care Act went into effect. (Freyer, 9/17)
‘Just in Case’ Campaign Launches Against Insurer Payments
A post-election fight about giving extra money to Obamacare insurance plans is brewing on Capitol Hill, following a summer of bad news for insurers. Given the considerable opposition in Congress, however, it will likely amount to nothing more than hot air. Conservative groups are sounding the alarm anyway, warning against “insurer bailouts” and urging Congress not to give any additional money to the industry. It may be a long shot, but insurers are still lobbying lawmakers for relief after a bruising few years of losses. (Owens, 9/16)