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Wellpoint / high health care costs

1 IN, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 317-858-9185

Wellpoin/Anthem, made 3.3 BILLION, in PROFIT in 2007. They have only been allowed legally to be a publically traded company on Wallstreet for less than 10 years. Now that they are a public company, Wallstreet expectations control their decisions. They must now make more money every year or their stock value will go down. How does an insurance company make more money every year? It must either increase premiums or they must slash claims payments.
Wellpoint announced at the end of the first quarter of 2008 their expected profits were going to be less than projected. Instead of making 3Billion in Profit this year they would ONLY make 1 BILLION. Their stock value dropped 47%. Since one BILLION is not encough they announced they were dropping some contracts and would be reviewing more carefully neonatal and oncology claims(translation: more claims denied) All of this while Wellpoint's Board and executives have tens of millions in stock options. Guess what they care about. Last year Wellpoint's CFO had to "leave" because of sexual discrimination claims against him. He left with 118 million.

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Comments

  • Co
      13th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    Wellpoint will be holding a conference call on July 23 2008 for investors. WellPoint Report of Firts Quarter 2008 Results confirms what you are saying:

    The benefit expense ratio is the number that insureds want to be high and insurers want to be low because it represents one of their two-pronged sources of profit...specifically, what percentage of premium dollars are being used to actually pay for needed health services for insureds. In order to reduce the benefit expense ratio, the investor report proudly announces that declines in that number from "PREMIUM RATE INCREASES, ENHANCED MEDICAL MANAGEMENT INITIATIVES, " higher premiums, less coverage.

    One note, the reduction in the obscene profit levels of Well Point that you mentioned were attributed to the increase in enrollment of Medicare Patients...WellPoint promised to redesign some of its Benefit designs for these Medicare Advantage plans...I'll leave it to you to figure out what this will mean for seniors.

    With all this money flowing in, never underestimate the power of delaying claims payments for a few days to grab that extra interest, which WellPoint also does and has increased its claims payable dates from 45 to 48.1 days.

    Write to WellPoint, write to your representatives, the company's plans are there in black and white...less coverage, more premium dollars, and increase profit margins from that cash cow that is Medicare.

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