Health insurance premiums are increasing 250% faster than hospital and doctor fees and patients are not getting the care they need when they need it. HMO, PPO, and health insurance overhead costs have become the fastest growing health care costs – increasing more each year than even the price of prescription drugs. Watch the Pig People From Outer Space (PPOs) Animation About Insurer Waste and Greed.
Profits & Overhead
Including profits, CEO salaries and administration costs, more than 25% of every health care dollar we spend goes to health insurance overhead. As a result, patients and small business owners pay more for less care.
- UnitedHealth’s 2005 4Q Profits Increase 18% – FTCR Calls for Moratorium on Mergers
- Blue Cross of CA Profits Increase 43% in 2004
- Health Care Costs Fueled by 86% Insurer Profit Increase
- Blue Cross of CA Profits Increased 38% in 2002
Recent mergers have given the industry a stranglehold over the health insurance market. With fewer pressures for efficiency and no government oversight of rates, insurers have been given free rein to spend more of our health care dollars on overhead, profit, and administration. Nationally, just 5 health insurers provide coverage for half of insured Americans. The last decade of HMO mergers has taught us that when fewer HMOs dominate the health care market, quality goes down, premiums go up, and patients get short changed. View a chart of California HMO consolidation.
State regulators recently approved a merger of HMO giants PacifiCare of California with UnitedHealth. All Californians will likely face higher health care costs as a result. At stake is $834 million in excess reserves and bonuses for PacifiCare executives — enough money to provide health care for 278,000 Californians for an entire year! Watch a Short Video About the Santa Ana PacifiCare Protest
- Gov. Schwarzenegger Approves Merger of Campaign Donor
- FTCR Calls on Insurance Commission to Adopt 5 Principles Before Approving Merger
- CalPERS Board Opposes $345 Million In Merger Bonuses for PacifiCare Execs
- Patients With Live Pigs Call on Regulators to Cut the Pork Out of “Piggish” PacifiCare/UnitedHealth Merger
- UnitedHealth/PacifiCare Merger Will Make Goliaths Too Big to Compete
In November 2004, WellPoint, the parent company of Blue Cross of California, merged with Anthem to form the nation’s largest HMO. Company CEOs promised that premiums would not be increased to pay for merger costs but following the merger Blue Cross premiums jumped 30-50%. Read about FTCR’s efforts to protect patients and business owners from unfair rate increases.
- Blue Cross Patients & Small Business Owners Demand Refunds in Wake of $4 Billion in Merger Costs
- Regulators Announce Hearing on Blue Cross Rate Increases
- "Pig People" Animation Takes on Health Insurer Greed
- Patients Hold Pork Roast & Testify at Public Hearing Criticizing CEO Slated to Receive $235.2 Million in Anthem/WellPoint Merger
- Wellpoint Execs To Get Potential $600 Million Payout
California Insurers Amass Huge Reserves
Blue Cross and Kaiser have enough reserves to provide health coverage for half of California’s uninsured residents for an entire year. Read about how unnecessary reserves, overhead costs, lack of competition and skyrocketing profits are uninsuring the insured.