Posts Tagged ‘insurance rates’

Attention buyers: rate changes likely as health plan profits dip

Health plans have been reporting their first quarter results and it is not a pretty picture. From large national plans like United Healthcare to small plans like Neighborhood Health in Boston, insurers have been beset by an unexpected event: an improvement in treatment for patients. New drugs for Hepatitis C have finally made the market after years of development, and the cost per patient can approach $100,000. For years, Hep C patients have had inadequate treatment for the disease, leaving thousands waiting for the new drugs and causing demand to surge.

The good news is that the new drugs work. The bad news is that the costs are sending insurance results to the tank and we have only seen one response to this problem before: higher health insurance rates. Read more…

Lloyd’s Chair warns middle market to be watchful

September 17, 2013 Leave a comment

nelsonThe insurance industry is rarely thought of as a vehicle for financial innovation and experimentation. The fundamentals of the industry often seem very basic to non-insurance people. In short, you pay a premium to cover claims made against the insurance policy. The trick for the insurance carrier is to take in more premiums that losses paid out in claims. Seems pretty simple, right?

For those of us who live in this industry, that simple model is actually much more complicated. Complex risks and alternative risk transfer options do offer the industry the opportunity to be innovative and, believe it or not creative in the risk financing world. However, we can never ignore the fundamentals for too long before an insurance company faces insolvency or the insurance buyers face higher premiums for their coverage needs. It is exactly this concern that the Chairman of Lloyds of London raised Read more…

What’s behind the Massachusetts proposed 19.3% Workers’ Compensation rate increase?

The Worker’s Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts (WCRIB) recently proposed a 19.3% increase in average rates for all new and renewal policies effective September 1st. There has been continued pressure on Workers’ Compensation insurance underwriters coming from an increase in losses coupled with interest rates being held down to nearly zero percent through 2014.

In a phone conversation with the WCRIB last week, the bureau was quick to point out that no decision had been made and that it plans to continue the rate review process for some time. The current belief is that any rate increase will be significantly lower than 19.3%, especially given the filing history of Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation rate filings proposed versus approved.  Rate increases have been very small to a slight negative, even more so amid a struggling economy, when the state is likely to view an increase as a Read more…

Ask the Experts: Healthcare Reform and medical loss ratios

Regulators issues draft rules recently on how health insurance companies need to account for how much they spend directly on patients’ medical care. In this installment of “Ask the Experts” Chris Nadeau of WGA’s Employee Benefits Practice talks about the significance of this proposed rule and the potential impact it could have on the system.

SoCal earthquakes happen more frequently and overdue for a big one

Reports from researchers at Arizona State and UC Irvine who have investigated earthquakes along the San Andreas fault over the past 700 years suggest that Southern California is overdue for a major shock.

These researchers, as reported by the Insurance Journal, outlined that major quakes take place along the Carrizo Plain which stretches 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles every 45 to 144 years. But, it has been since 1857 that the last major quake ranging from 6.5 to 7.9 on the Richter scale took place at Fort Tejon. The research is contrary to previous studies that suggested the frequency of such large earthquakes to be much lower.

If these academics are correct, they are being mostly ignored by the insurance industry. Availability and cost of Earthquake Insurance continues to improve for most buyers. Capacity is up by about 25% Read more…

DHCFP Speaks

June 29, 2010 1 comment


Not everyone is familiar with the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy (DHCFP) as Commissioner David Morales readily admits. But, this state agency is trying to drive health care cost control reform as much as anyone in the state. Alongside Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and private industry studies such as the McKinsey study cited in earlier blogs, DHCFP is exposing the truth about rising health care costs: the biggest driver is that hospitals and doctors are getting paid much more money. Their prices have been escalating in part due to unfair competition according to AG Coakley as well as Insurance Commissioner Joseph Murphy. Read more…

Promote wellness and control your medical costs

Wellness programs in the workplace are designed to educate and assist employees to live healthier lives. But there is no denying that the overall health of employees can certainly help to reduce medical costs. Did you know that 15% of employees accrue 78% of medical expenses, and that 75% of health care costs are directly related to lifestyle and are preventable? As we enter the next phase of wellness, we find that many human resources professionals looking for new ways to proactively control their medical costs. We hosted a discussion this week with Interactive Health Solution (IHS), a partner firm that provides health awareness and preventive care programs that can help reduce the severity of claims, and ultimately allows the workforce to be more productive.  Read more…