Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Wellpoint Profits Drop; Health Insurance Premiums Soar
While the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression continues to have a deflationary impact on home values and salaries, the story is much different for health insurance premiums. I just got a notice from Anthem that my health insurance premium is increasing 25% in March. I've had zero claims over the last year (my deductible is $2,500). The Star's Dan Lee reports that 4th quarter profit for the health care giant, Wellpoint, dropped from $859 million from a year ago to $331 million. "While our enrollment levels are being impacted by rising unemployment, our customer retention rates remain very strong," CEO Angela Bray says. "As employers continue to reduce their workforces, we have alternatives for the impacted employees through individually-purchased products or government-sponsored plans," Bray adds. I've got news for those folks. If you have to purchase your own health insurance, you probably won't be able to afford it. My health insurance premiums have increased by double-digits every year that I've had a policy with Anthem. Something is terribly wrong with this picture.