Investigating Anthem price increase

Rita Williams:
Ch. 2 Reporter

Your very serious piece http://www.ktvu.com/video/22529802/index.html about Anthem Blue Cross raising rates is not unexpected by this 50 year veteran of the Life and Health industry. They know some changes are coming from Washington. Blue Cross, here in California and 25 other states, were non-profits 25 years ago, and represented a very big share of the health delivery system.

Check out Wellpoint’s webpage: http://wellpoint.com/. Wellpoint is a public company that owns Anthem Blue-Cross. They directly insure close to 35 million under the age of 65 and administer close to 24.5 Medicare for 4%. In addition, they sell Medicare supplements to untold millions of seniors. The under age 65 and senior supplements use the 30% margin referred to in your piece. They serve well over 60 million people.

They are quite proud of their portion of the takeover similar to Aetna, United Healthcare and Cigna, the big four monopoly. Here are some interesting links:
o http://wellpoint.com/business/company_history.asp
o http://www.aetna.com/about-aetna-insurance/aetna-corporate-profile/aetna-history/index.html
o http://www.hcahealthcare.com/CustomPage.asp?guidCustomContentID={2BA34880-F69E-433A-96E7-69DCD3A0EBE6}

Check out the piece written by Prof. Wydick from USF. It can be seen on our blog: https://jameshall.wordpress.com/ about half way down the first page. It has a different view of the health delivery system.

I know John Garamendi tried to get after some of these companies. The fact that Steve Poizner is now touting to determine whether Blue Cross is paying out 70% of premiums received is grandstanding and late. The real problem is Anthem Blue Cross is part of a monopoly operating free of anti-trust laws. Without a public option of some kind, the problems will get worse. Wall Street has consolidated Heathcare and ruined the system for all Americans.

I know you have limited resources. You should interview Professor Wydick. Here is his profile link: http://www.usfca.edu/fac_staff/wydick/. I am told by Barbara Marshman, Opinion Editor of the Mercury News, he will have another piece on banking next week.

Sincerely,

James U. Hall, CLU

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