Colleen Callahan Announces Pending Insurance Mega-Mergers
Aug 01, 2015 02:24PM
● By Colleen Callahan
Rates will soon be released for the annual individual health insurance plans for 2016. Despite recent announcements of mergers in the health insurance market place, suggesting consolidation is necessary for companies to remain competitive, rates are expected to increase. The increased premiums correlate to more demand on the system. More people are insured, more people want expensive care, and insurance companies have to help us pay for that very expensive care.
The pending mergers between Aetna and Humana, Healthnet and Centene Corp, and rumors about Anthem and Cigna mean lots of changes in the coming months. It looks like most changes will not start until next year. With open enrollment for individual medical plans and Medicare Part D in the fall, we should count our blessings; mergers take a while.
I hope the resulting changes are better for the clients, but I remain skeptical. In my experience, the larger the insurance company, the harder it is to speak to a person that has the authority to make a decision or correct an error. Most problems get passed on to someone else, and each time one contacts the insurance company about a claim issue or an approval, it is like starting over. I don’t think management has any idea what the average agent or insured faces when calling for help.
I really hope these mega-mergers are more user-friendly than a local grocery chain merger. Aisles that were once safe are now over-crowded, resulting in dangerous intersections at each end, and you have to dodge obstacles, like displays of unhealthy, sugar coated cereals. What happened to the healthy choices? The new chain does not focus on health or healthy alternatives and wellness. At least insurance companies reward people for being well.
Colleen Callahan, CLU, CASL, LUTCF