Tag Archives | Insurance

The US should mandate gun insurance so the two monoliths fight to the death

Nana got a Gun
David Ferguson thinks one of the most effective ways to bring down the NRA is to pit them against America’s insurance companies. In essence, the US should mandate that all gun owners must insure their firearms, similar to how we must insure our cars, homes, and health.

Ferguson via The Raw Story:

I believe the insurance industry may be our only hope.

Let everyone in this country keep their guns, but force them to insure those guns. It seems so obvious when you think about it. We insure our cars, our houses, our boats and bodies, even our plane tickets and rental cars. And some of those policies are legally mandated. We should absolutely require gun owners to pay against the indemnity they might incur when their gun does what it is statistically most likely to do – kills or injures them, or someone else.

Unlike all of the other things that we insure – cars, major electronics or art collections – guns only do one thing.

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50 hospitals charge uninsured more than 10 times cost of care, study finds

Images Money (CC BY 2.0)

Images Money (CC BY 2.0)

If you’re uninsured, it’s possible that you’re being charged 10 times more than your insured neighbors when you go to the hospital. Lena H. Sun has the scoop at WaPo:

Fifty hospitals in the United States are charging uninsured consumers more than 10 times the actual cost of patient care, according to research published Monday.

All but one of the facilities are owned by for-profit entities and the largest number of hospitals — 20 — are in Florida. For the most part, researchers said, the hospitals with the highest markups are not in pricey neighborhoods or big cities, where the market might explain the higher prices.

Topping the list is North Okaloosa Medical Center, a 110-bed facility in the Florida Panhandle about an hour outside of Pensacola. Uninsured patients are charged 12.6 times the actual cost of patient care.

Community Health Systems operates 25 of the hospitals on the list.

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Insurance Companies Blatantly Ignore ACA’s Free Birth Control Mandate

Since the ACA's birth control requirement went into effect in August 2012, more than 48 million women no longer face cost barriers to accessing birth control, according to the National Women's Law Center. (Photo: UC Irvine/flickr/cc)

Since the ACA’s birth control requirement went into effect in August 2012, more than 48 million women no longer face cost barriers to accessing birth control, according to the National Women’s Law Center. (Photo: UC Irvine/flickr/cc)

This was originally posted on Common Dreams.

Not only are insurance companies across the country flouting the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) birth control coverage mandate, they are violating a slew of other women’s health requirements related to maternity care and more, the National Women’s Law Center charged in dual reports released this week.

“Insurance companies are breaking the law by denying women coverage to which they are entitled,” NWLC vice president for health and reproductive rights Gretchen Borchelt said in a statement. “The Affordable Care Act has made dramatic improvements in women’s health coverage, but insurers’ failure to comply with its requirements has serious consequences that affect women every day.”

In State of Birth Control Coverage: Health Plan Violations of the Affordable Care Act(pdf), NWLC looked at coverage of FDA-approved birth control methods—which the ACA says must be covered without co-payments or deductibles—and found widespread violations nationwide.… Read the rest

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Protect Yourself With Alien Abduction Insurance

If you are one day abducted by aliens and impregnated, who will pay for your baby? Wikipedia explains:

Alien abduction insurance is an insurance policy issued against alien abduction. The insurance policy is redeemed if the insured person is abducted by aliens.

A policy normally costs around $150 per $1.5 million in coverage, and policy offerings vary from $10,000 to $10 million. Some companies offer policies for alien pregnancy, alien examinations and death caused by aliens.

The very first company to offer UFO abduction insurance was the St. Lawrence Agency in Altamonte Springs, Florida. The company says that it has paid out at least two claims. Over 20,000 people have purchased the insurance.

Prominent policyholders have included Shirley MacLaine and a Harvard University professor who has written on aliens. The Heaven’s Gate religious group had purchased alien abduction insurance before their mass suicide.

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The Insurance Industry Claims Global Warming Is Real

Stop Global Warming

Photo: AgnosticPreachersKid (CC)

Reports Gus Lubin on Business Insider:

Insurance industry leaders went before Congress on Friday to ask for increased federal support for the costs of destructive global warming. From their perspective, there is no question whether or not climate change is real.

Here are some quotes posted by Insurance Networking News:

From our industry’s perspective, the footprints of climate change are around us and the trend of increasing damage to property and threat to lives is clear,” said Franklin Nutter, president of the Reinsurance Association of America.

Cynthia McHale, the insurance program director at Ceres, issued a more unequivocal statement: “Our climate is changing, human activity is helping to drive the change, and the costs of these extreme weather events are going to keep ballooning unless we break through our political paralysis, and bring down emissions that are warming our planet. If we continue on this path, extreme weather is certain to cause more homes and businesses to be uninsurable in the private insurance market, leaving the costs to taxpayers or individuals.”

Read More: Business Insider

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U.S. Approves Free Birth Control For Women

Photo: Ceridwen (CC)

Photo: Ceridwen (CC)

It’s a good time to be a woman. Via Reuters:

U.S. health insurance companies must offer women free birth control and other preventive health care services under Obama administration rules released on Monday, a historic decision supported by family planning groups and opposed by conservative groups.

The rules from the Health and Human Services Department are part of the nation’s healthcare overhaul and largely follow recommendations from an advisory group released last month.

The U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, commissioned by the Obama administration, recommended that all U.S.-approved birth control methods — including the “morning-after pill,” taken shortly after intercourse to stop a pregnancy — be added to the list of preventive health services.

[Continues at Reuters]

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German Insurer Munich Re Rewards Salesmen With Prostitutes

Munich ReBBC News reports:
One of the biggest insurance companies in the world held a party for salesmen where they were rewarded with the services of prostitutes. Munich Re is the world's biggest re-insurer — in other words, the company acts as an insurance company for other insurance companies. One of its divisions, Ergo, told the BBC that the party had taken place to reward salesmen in 2007. A spokesman said the people who organised it had since left. The gathering was held at a thermal baths in the Hungarian capital Budapest as a reward to particularly successful salesmen.
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Climate Change “Already Visible,” Say Insurers

Photo: Mila Zinkova (CC)

Photo: Mila Zinkova (CC)

In 1980 there were just 60 floods, blizzards, or thunderstorms, but in 2010 there were 247. “It’s likely that the number of strong storms involving rain, snow and hail is also rising because of warming temperatures,” says the head of the Corporate Climate Center at Munich Reinsurance, adding “we believe we have indications that climate change is already, at least to some extent, visible.”

The number of damaging storms rose from 50 reported thirty years ago to 150 in 2010, notes this environmental blog, adding that “While politicians bicker over the reality of climate change, insurance companies are dealing with its reality.” In fact, altogether the past year saw 950 disasters worldwide, where 30 years ago the number was a mere 400.

But wouldn’t it be interesting if the single most powerful lobbyist on the issue of climate legislation became the insurance companies?

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Petty Criminals Unite! Subway Fare-Jumpers In Paris Form Insurance Fund

03172010jumperAs someone oppressed by the ever-expanding ticket prices of New York’s corruptly-run MTA subway system, I find this example of criminal ingenuity inspiring: turnstile hoppers in Paris have formed an insurance fund so that whenever one of them is caught by the police, their fine/expenses are fully covered.

“It’s a way to resist together,” declared Gildas, 30, a leader of the mutuelle movement. “We can make solidarity.”

“There are things in France which are supposed to be free — schools, health. So why not transportation?” he said. “It’s not a question of money…. It’s a political question.”

The fare dodgers who jump the turnstiles or sneak in through exit barriers on the Paris Metro are practically as much a fixture of the city as the subway itself.

Those who get caught without a proper ticket, though, face fines of up to $60. So what’s a poor freeloader to do?

For about $8.50 a month, those who join one of these raffish-sounding mutuelles des fraudeurs can rest easy knowing that, if they get busted for refusing to be so bourgeois as to pay to use public transit, the fund will cough up the money for the fine.

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Health Care Reform? If You Have A Preexisting Condition, The Insurance Company Is Only Fined $100/Day NOT To Treat You

Change you can believe in? Think again. Not as long as the insurance companies get to write the bills in Washington. Paul Harwood writes on MichaelMoore.com:
Fine Print

I caught Lawrence O’Donnell interviewing Michael Moore [on Countdown With Keith Olbermann] about health care.

Because I’m unemployed and so have time on my hands, and because there were so many bizarre claims about the contents of the HCR bill being tossed around during the debate, I’d already spent time spelunking through the depths of the bill … and so my ears perked up when I heard him saying this:

MOORE: If the insurance company is caught denying somebody because of a preexisting condition … their fine, according to this new law, is $100 a day. One hundred dollars. Now, do you think they’re going to take the fine, or do you think they’re going to pay thousands of dollars to help you if you have cancer?

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