Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Blue Cross profit rises (triples!)

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU
 
BR_Parkway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:52 AM
Original message
Blue Cross profit rises (triples!)
http://www.newsobserver.com/126/v-print/story/414119.ht...

You would expect most companies to celebrate when their fourth-quarter earnings tripled, driving annual profits to their second highest level ever.

But perhaps not when that business is Blue Cross, the state's largest health insurer and a target for consumer advocates seeking more affordable medical coverage. And not when many North Carolinians are struggling to afford another year of double-digit premium increases.

Blue Cross' profits increased to $167.6 million in 2005 and $34.3 million in the fourth quarter. In 2004, the company had $155.9 million in profits for the year and $10.4 million during the quarter.

Blue Cross officials minimized the raw numbers and highlighted decreases in the company's profit margin in comments to the media Friday. The nonprofit company has been trying to reduce its net income for two years after its $196.3 million profit in 2003 caused a public outcry.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Missy M Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
1. It seems kind of simple on how to reduce its net income...
but instead they increase the premiums by double digits. We Americans are being screwed every which way.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
2. I wonder how that's broken down... who's going in for what...
More anxiety cases because people can't pay their medical bills.

x(
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Divernan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
3. Can't cut their profits when Bush keeps giving them ripoff medicaid
programs and general big bidness tax breaks.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BR_Parkway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #3
11. This profit was a surprise - goes to show how well Shrub's giveaways
are working in this one industry - it was even more profitable than the insurance company expected it to be - now they have a PR problem.

Hey Blue, why don't you simply declare a rebate and give everyone a credit for next month's premium or something?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Daphne08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
4. Thanks. I'll be sure to show this to my husband because
our health insurance is costing us a fortune (employer provided... ha! They pay only half of his monthly premium and NONE of mine).

Who is our insurer? Blue Cross.

Yes, this is quite enlightening, and he will be furious. :grr:



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
5. That is the DUMBEST statement I've ever read!
The nonprofit company has been trying to reduce its net income for two years after its $196.3 million profit in 2003 caused a public outcry.

I was an accountant for 40 years, and I don't even have to use any of that experience to tell these idiots how to REDUCE PROFITS!

CUT THE DAMN PREMIUMS....STUPID!!!!!!!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. When I worked for a "non profit" hospital in St Louis
employees were told that "non profit" did not mean the hospital was not interested in making money, but that they had to funnel the money back INTO the hospital. I think most hospitals do this via constant construction.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #9
16. I understand that. But this is NOT a hospital. Other than offices,
it doesn't HAVE anything to funnel the profits back into...other than the packets of the executives that is!

I've been reading excuses for the rising health care costs and watching all the finger pointing for quite a few years now. I also know the CFO of the largest health care system in Pgh. Pa. One by one, I'm trying to pick out inconsistencies to determine just where the real problem is in our out of control health care mess we have in this country. That statement from BCBS shure has me leaning toward blaming the insurance industry!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
6. Blue Cross of California, and all of Wellpoint, was
bought by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in 2003. The merger was made official in 2004 and the former CEO of Wellpoint, Leonard Schaeffer stood to gain handsomely via change of status clauses (he went from being CEO to being Chairman of the Board) and stock options.

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2004/06/14/d...

The largest payout, according to CalPERS analysis, would go to WellPoint Chairman and CEO Leonard Schaeffer, who stands to receive $76 million by giving up his post to become chairman of the merged company.



Also, Dr William Maguire of United Healthcare recently exercised stock options and made over $130 million
I am sure they are all good Republicans.

http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2006...

UnitedHealth CEO sells $137 million in stock
The Business Journal of Milwaukee - February 24, 2006

UnitedHealth CEO William McGuire sold roughly $137 million worth of stock on Thursday, the company said Friday.

The sale of 2.3 million shares represents about 6 percent of McGuire's holdings in the Minnetonka-based company.



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BlueManDude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
7. My monthy premium rose $31.00 last year
and why do I have to pay $25.00 every time I go to the doctor - I thought I HAD health insurance?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. At work (yes I work for an HMO) we are told that
co-pays are increased to make the patient "part of the decision making team" when it comes to health care. To make "consumers" aware of medical costs.

I am of the opinion that high co-pays act as a DISINCENTIVE to seek care. Some people simply cannot afford a $25 copay to see a specialist (I pay $20 to see a specialist) or $100 for an ER visit. I know I think twice about going to the ER if I have a really bad migraine (the most common reason for me to go to an ER). I try to sleep it off rather than incur a bill for $100. I know it's cheaper than the actual bill but a hundred bucks is a hundred bucks.

Insurance companies will be pushing HRAs and HSAs more and more. Of course they will be sold to the public as means to get the "consumer" involved in health care costs.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #12
17. Furthermore, a FIXED copay does nothing to keep costs down.
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 10:41 AM by TahitiNut
If the copayment system were based on a percentage of the price charged, then people would be motivated to seek the most cost-effective sources when time permitted. Today, insured people have almost no comprehension of the variance in costs.

This is the "big lie" in all the myth-based claims regarding "market forces" when insurers merely pass on price increases in increased premiums. It's far past the time when a national health care system akin to France's or Denmark's is needed.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. This is the argument insurance companies use to
promote HRAs and HSAs, thinking that if consumers are paying for part of the bill then they will seek more cost effective care.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BlueManDude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #12
18. I remember when co-pays were like $3 or $5
within 3 years mine will be $35 then $50...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bush_Eats_Beef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:11 AM
Response to Original message
8. Sounds like it's time for another rate increase...
...due to "increased healthcare costs."

That was my little Christmas gift from Blue Cross last year...a year-end notice that my rates would be going up. Since they were kind enough to put me on the HIPA plan, I pay DOUBLE the amount of the same coverage for non-HIPA customers. That means my monthly Blue Cross bill is around $500.

But hey, as long as they had their second best year ever, that's what's really important.

:grr:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
10. Blue Cross is "nonprofit"
I had no idea. That seems like a pretty big profit. They should be cutting the costs of premiums, decreasing copays (Mine is $25 for the doctor, $100 for the ER), or increasing overall coverage. It is ridiculous how the insurance company is guarenteed a high profit because everyone is afraid to be without insurance so the demand curve is different than normal products, which we don't need as much or have alternatives.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. Not all Blues are non profit. I think those owned by
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, which covers many of the Blue plans across the US, are all for profit companies. I recall when Missouri Blue Cross Blue Shield went from a non profit to a for profit they had to promise to set aside so much money for uninsured services.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. Don't tell that to a person without ethics or morals (aka a Libertarian)
They'll find a way to rationalize it and then do a double-take once they realize they'd be affected.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
15. Blue Cross epitomizes the problems of healthcare and values today
Back in the day, Blue Cross Blue Shield were there to provide reasonable overage at an affordable cost. Nothing fancy, but good basic coverage.

But as the healthcare industry got swept up in the overall tide of "Greed is Good" and "Bigger is Better" and "Profits Uber Alles" they bought into the same shit sandwich as the rest of society. Soem of it was simp-ly trying to survive in these shark infested waters. But some of it ws voluntary sharkiness and empire building.

Unfortunately, the Democrats are doing nothing about it either. The number of Mega Mergers and consolidation among health insurers and otehr aspects of the medical "industry" continues unabated. And yet, it remains invisible as an issue -- exept to real peope who het hit by the results.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
19. And still...the sheeple will not connect the dots
Oil companies making record profits while we struggle to put gas in the car and keep our homes warm. They get the money while we freeze to death.
Insurance companies making record profits while we struggle to maintain minimal (if any) healthcare. They get the money while we die from lack of affordable healthcare.

Helloooo???
Where are the critical thinking skills of Americans?

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat Aug 30th 2014, 03:44 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC