Now I Know Why I can't Afford Blue Cross Insurnace.

Now I Know Why I can't Afford Blue Cross Insurnace.

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:49 am

Back in the early nineties I was paying roughly $100 per month for health insurance. Was a little tough with how much I made at that time but still worth it. A few short years later costs had ballooned to something in the neighborhood of $250 a month. Not sure what it is now but I think it's in the $500 a month range for the same insurance.

Keep in mind this a non-profit organization, there''s been many recent stories where B&C was wasting ratrepayers money. They wanted to invest in nursing school in Scranton, Country club memberships, Scholarships (wonder who they were related too), and recently the announcement they are interested in buying WVHCS which has the largest hospital in the Wyoming Valley and many other services..

Anyhow this was in the paper today apprently this doesn't concern Blue Cross of northeastern Penssylvania but it makes me wonde what the top execs are getting here:


http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/state/pennsylvania/20080816_ap_executivepaywouldriseunderpabluesmerger.html
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.

Highmark chief executive Kenneth Melani, who is expected to have the same job at the merged company, would see his salary rise 31 percent, from $2.97 million to $3.9 million, including incentives, according to documents filed with the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.

The next two biggest raises would go to chief financial officer Nanette DeTurk and David M. O'Brien, executive vice president for government services, both from Pittsburgh-based Highmark.

DeTurk, who is in line to be CFO of the combined entity, could get a $635,098 increase in total pay, which includes potential incentives. O'Brien, head of Medicare operations, would get a $556,184 raise under the plan filed Thursday.

Independence Blue Cross CEO Joseph Frick would earn $2.94 million, the same as his current pay, if the merger goes through. In 2006, Frick's pay was $1.6 million.


Check out the last paragraph, how do you get a 50% pay increase in 2 years?

Understandably health insurance rates have gone up for more reasons that this but where's the limit at which these guys are being overpaid? CEO and executive salries have sky rocketed over the last two decades and frankly its getting a little absurd especially when you see the guy who drove a company into the ground and gets a multi-million doallar severance package.
Richard S.
 
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Re: Now I Know Why I can't Afford Blue Cross Insurnace.

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sun Aug 17, 2008 4:57 pm

Richard S. wrote:Understandably health insurance rates have gone up for more reasons that this but where's the limit at which these guys are being overpaid? CEO and executive salries have sky rocketed over the last two decades and frankly its getting a little absurd especially when you see the guy who drove a company into the ground and gets a multi-million doallar severance package.



This is getting scary Richard!! :fear:



I find myself in agreement with you on a few important issues lately!
I will not hijack your thread & turn it into an anti "anyone" debate, but wish to merely make one point:

For those who claim government oversight is "meddling" with the private sector or the dreaded "Socialism" word, I would just say that legitimate government oversight is a recently lacking but necessary "protection" that our Founding Fathers understood &, even as late as 1959, Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower tried to warn us about the "Military Industrial Complex" taking over in this country.
I think whoever is elected President this year, will be forced to tackle the health care problem that has us rated an embarrassing 37th in the world for quality of health care & puts this quality health care beyond the reach of many, hard working Americans.
Last edited by Devil505 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:07 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Now I Know Why I can't Afford Blue Cross Insurnace.

PostBy: Yanche On: Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:03 pm

That's peanuts. The former CEO Blue Cross/Blue Shield, William Jews, is now suing the State of Maryland over the state's insurance commissioner reducing his severance by $9 million. The background is this, BC/BS is chartered as a non-profit, Jews wanted to sell it to a for profit corporation. He would naturally get tens of millions in bonus plus a executive level big pay job. He pissed off the wrong people and the Maryland legislature passed a law re-affirming the non-profit status of BC/BS and replaced the BC/BS board of directors forcing Jews out. He wants his entire $18 million severance.

See: http://washington.bizjournals.com/washi ... ily34.html
Yanche
 
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Re: Now I Know Why I can't Afford Blue Cross Insurnace.

PostBy: traderfjp On: Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:57 pm

This just proves my theory that most people are greedy. There aren't too many people who are going to say, this isn't right we need to do something about high salaries and wasteful decisions. Instead monies are mismanaged and high salaries are given to a select few. Then these people leave and live large. Greed is a huge problem that our society faces and I'm pretty sure it will always exist. Yesterday I was in Costco and bought a 12 pack of paper towels for 15.00. Our government has decided to artificially inflate the stock market with liquidity and cheap credit which raises prices. if you're rich then it doesn't matter too much but if you're an average paid worker you get squeezed. The consumer pays for larger salaries and 750,000 30 second commercials and the crazy salaries of sport figures. All these costs are tacked on to everything the consumer purchases. Yet we allow it as a society.
Last edited by traderfjp on Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Now I Know Why I can't Afford Blue Cross Insurnace.

PostBy: ken On: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:31 pm

when I was working for myself , 25 years. I had a policy that was just for a major problem or accident. that was reasonable as far as price went a month.
ken
 
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Re: Now I Know Why I can't Afford Blue Cross Insurnace.

PostBy: billw On: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:45 pm

Blue cross at the very least should have it's non-profit status rescinded. They are supposed to provide low cost insurance to low income people, which they don't. I know 3 cases where people were on disability or unemployment that were flat denied insurance through this company at any cost.

As a non-profit they pay no taxes. I gotta call bullshit. Any company that can put away over 390 million in surplus is making one hell of a profit. One of our state reps (Phylis Mundey, sp) has been going after them for a while. Of course it's like pissing in the wind.
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Re: Now I Know Why I can't Afford Blue Cross Insurnace.

PostBy: Richard S. On: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:24 am

Well that's pretty much the point Bill, You know I'm from the same area. I mentioned they were in negotiations with WVHCS(General Hospital). I'm thinking they are seeing the hammer is coming and they are trying to invest that money before it falls so they don't have to give it back to the ratepayers. Besides the hospital there is quite a few other projects they want to invest in that are in the millions such as the proposed medical school in Scranton.
Richard S.
 
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Re: Now I Know Why I can't Afford Blue Cross Insurnace.

PostBy: traderfjp On: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:44 am

These stories only make tax payers enraged and detached from how their monies are spent. Why can't be get responsible oficials to run the government and not waste our hard earned dollars and squander our future with debt. I guess I'm off topic here but this is yet another example of B.S.
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Re: Now I Know Why I can't Afford Blue Cross Insurnace.

PostBy: Richard S. On: Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:02 am

Trader this really isn't anything to do with the government other than oversight. It's a "non-profit" medical insurance group but they run it like business and the ratepayers who are supposed to be benefiting from it are getting the shaft.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
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Re: Now I Know Why I can't Afford Blue Cross Insurnace.

PostBy: traderfjp On: Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:45 am

Interesting. I always thought is was a goverment agency. Apparently they provide coverage for a large share of government works. There website boasts 99 million people in the US covered. This is also taken from Wikipedia and is free source: Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield insurance companies are franchisees, independent of the association (and traditionally each other), offering insurance plans within defined regions under one or both of the association's brands. Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers offer some form of health insurance coverage in every US state. They also act as administrators of Medicare in many states or regions of the U.S., and regularly can be found providing group coverage to state government employees, as well as the U.S. Federal government under a nationwide option of the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan (FEHBP) established by the association on their behalf. Thus a strong bond exists between the Blue Cross Blue Shield system and health insurance policy-making bodies at the highest levels of government in the United States.-

Though historically "Blue Cross" was used for hospital coverage while "Blue Shield" was used for medical coverage, today that split only exists for traditional health insurance plans in eastern Pennsylvania, where Independence Blue Cross (Philadelphia) and Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania each have joint marketing agreements with Highmark Blue Shield (Pittsburgh) for their separate hospital and medical plans. However, Independence Blue Cross, like most of its sister Blue Cross-Blue Shield companies, cover most of their customers under managed care plans such as HMOs and PPOs which provide hospital and medical care in one policy. In most of the country (including western Pennsylvania), one insurer operates under both brands; in the remaining places (including California and central Pennsylvania), the Blue Cross and Blue Shield brands belong to competing insurers. Blue Cross of Idaho even displays the Blue Shield logo alongside the Blue Cross logo, in direct competition with Regence BlueShield of Idaho. Both brand names are used in both CamelCase and traditional forms by both the association and its member insurers, though some members prefer one form or the other.
Last edited by traderfjp on Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Now I Know Why I can't Afford Blue Cross Insurnace.

PostBy: Devil505 On: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:52 am

Richard S. wrote:Trader this really isn't anything to do with the government other than oversight. It's a "non-profit" medical insurance group but they run it like business and the ratepayers who are supposed to be benefiting from it are getting the shaft.


Saying "Other than oversight", in that sentence, is kinda like saying the Lincolns really enjoyed the play at the Ford Theater that night.........."Other than" the unpleasantness with the gun at the end!
The lack of effective government oversight is the real problem here, IMO.
Why are these businesses allowed to keep their non-profit status & who is providing protection to us citizens from the current crop of "Robber Barons" that led to the "Trust Busting" legislation of the last century.
Devil505
 
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Re: Now I Know Why I can't Afford Blue Cross Insurnace.

PostBy: Richard S. On: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:18 am

By that devil I meant it wasn't a tax payer funded program. Instead its funded by ratepayers. My arguments here are fine line as I have no issue with a private for profit company paying the CEO whatever they wish. I think some of the salaries are outrageous but thats just my opinion. This is different though because its "non-profit". They don't pay taxes which certainly will give them an advantage over for profit ventures but that benefit isn't going to lower the cost to the rate payers but instead is being used to enrich the "non-profit". Buying a hospital, investing into other ventures or even giving out scholarships is not what the ratepayers are paying insurance for.

It's the same thing with other non-profits and large charities. They are expanding their wealth, enriching the CEO's all under the auspices of the no-profit status. At some point they cross a line and I think many of these health insurance companies did it a long time ago. When you have a few CEO's making salaries that you would expect from fortune 500 companies I think you have a big issue. These aren't even national companies but instead just ones in Pennsylvania.
Richard S.
 
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Re: Now I Know Why I can't Afford Blue Cross Insurnace.

PostBy: Devil505 On: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:23 am

Richard S. wrote:When you have a few CEO's making salaries that you would expect from fortune 500 companies I think you have a big issue. These aren't even national companies but instead just ones in Pennsylvania.


Agreed, & it is a bigger problem than most people think. Look at the ridiculous incomes of the heads of some of the larger charities in this county alone. I blame it on a "Culture of Greed" that is sweeping this country generally in the last few years, & unchecked by government oversight.
Devil505
 
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Re: Now I Know Why I can't Afford Blue Cross Insurnace.

PostBy: Richard S. On: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:51 am

I should start a "non-profit" coal-op and assign myself as CEO at a million dollar salary. :P
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Now I Know Why I can't Afford Blue Cross Insurnace.

PostBy: Devil505 On: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:56 am

Richard S. wrote:I should start a "non-profit" coal-op and assign myself as CEO at a million dollar salary. :P


Wouldn't work right now....Not PC enough! (has to be a GREEN energy solution!)




(listen to me!!!.......I sound like one of you guys!! :mad: ) Been hanging around here too long!
Devil505
 
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