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New Report Shows Insurers Reap Record Profits Even as Consumers Suffer
Statement by U.S. PIRG Health Care Advocate on New Report from HCAN
WASHINGTON - June 21 - "Today's new report (PDF) from the Health Care for America Now coalition presents evidence of market abuses by America’s health insurance industry. Over recent months, they have shed millions from their coverage roles and spent a lower portion of their revenue on actual medical care. Simultaneously, insurers' premiums climbed, not only faster than wages or inflation, but faster than insurance plans’ own spending on medical care.
“Dropping coverage, hiking rates, and skimping on benefits apparently aren't a last resort. They are a profitable business strategy which, according to the HCAN report, yielded record profits in 2009 and has put insurers on pace towards record profits again this year.
“Fortunately, the new health care law will, within the next few months, put an end to the worst of these abuses, by ending rescissions and pre-existing condition exclusions for children, and establishing new standards requiring insurers to spend 80 to 85 percent of our premium dollars on care, not overhead and corporate profits. For consumers, the new rules couldn't come a moment too soon."