Health insurer Aetna hard truth

p_m7cAccording to CBS Marketwatch “Aetna said it has lost $430 million on Obamacare plans during the first two years. During that same time the company spent $23 billion on administration, marketing, paperwork, junkets, bonuses and other overhead. That’s a ridiculous 26 cents for every dollar it paid out in actual benefits”.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Let’ not forget that Aetna’s CEO earned $32 million, over two years, and spent more than $200,000 last year just in his personal use of the company’s private jets. [/inlinetweet]How many nurses, and doctors, and lab technicians — people who actually provide health care — spent $200,000 last year taking private jets on vacation?

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Private health insurers only make money if they keep payouts below premiums. Actually, because of their high costs, they need to keep the payouts way, way below premiums. And that means if their customers do get sick, they have every incentive to try to deny treatment. Massachusetts just had to pass a law making health insurers cover treatment for chronic Lyme disease, because the insurers had refused. The insurers, naturally, fought the law tooth and nail.

You think that bill you got at the hospital is what insurers actually pay?  Think again.  In some cases they pay pennies on the dollar for some line items.  They also dictate to your doctor what he/she can prescribe and what will be covered.  If your doctor, for example, thinks you need an MRI, your insurer may say “no” because they don’t think it’s needed.

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Then there is preventative care.  Insurers can save themselves a lot of money if they covered health expenses like consulting with a dietician or memberships in health clubs.  To them, however, that’s just another expense, unlike private use of the company jet.