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Why does your health insurance cost so much?

DCblogger's picture

The Health Insurance Game

Data from the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy show that:

1. The top seven U.S. health insurers earned a combined $10 billion dollars - nearly triple their profits of 5 years earlier (Wall Street Journal, August 2006).

2. In 2004 top executives of the 11 largest health insurers made a combined $85 million per year in one year (Weiss Reports).

3. The 20 largest HMOs in the U.S. made $10.8 billion in profits in the fiscal year 2005. 12 top HMO executives pocketed $222.6 million in direct compensation in the fiscal year 2005.

4. Dr. William McGuire, CEO of UnitedHealthcare had $1.6 billion in exercisable options at the end of 2005 (CBN News, Oct. 16, 2006) in addition to his salary.

30%-35% of each dollar of your premium goes to pay for: executive salaries, administration, lobbying, marketing and other non-health care related costs.

There is a reason we call them parasites.

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Submitted by hipparchia on

parasites they are.

iirc, medicaid spending in 2005 was about $1700 per kid.

that $10.8 billion that the hmos think belongs to them would have paid for a year of medical care for more than 6 million poor kids. which means that the $10 billion that the insurance companies think belongs to them would have bought health care for another 6 million kids. and doc mcguire could have bought health care for nearly a million more poor kids with his stock option.

those executives with their paltry multi-million-dollar couldn't have bought healthcare for even 200,000 kids. pikers.

13,000,000+ kids.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Someone's doing well in this economy! Sure, it's not "doing well by doing good," but still...

I've heard that some finance execs have been doing well, too, so that's another sector we can feel good about.

Salmo's picture
Submitted by Salmo on

I have a lot of sibs and relatives involved in health care. Based on frequent conversations with them, one should also consider the extra cost of dealing with the insurers when calculating what the national cost of an insurance based health care system is. From the simple necessity of filing the extra paperwork, to the time doctors spend arguing for treatment with insurers, the service providers I know argue that insurers drive up office and treatment cost to about twice the cost of treatment through Medicare.