March 1, 2016

As the health insurance marketplace, American citizens and businesses continue to adapt to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act world, the pending mergers of Aetna/Humana and Cigna/Anthem will provide yet another curveball. Mergers of companies this large are almost never good for consumers.  They generally mean fewer choices, less negotiating options and higher premiums, yet both appear to be on track for approval. The U.S. Department of Justice and state regulators are reviewing the proposals, and...

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February 17, 2016

UP is constantly working to publish information and guidance on investing your insurance dollars wisely by patronizing companies that offer quality protection and have a record of good claim service.  We promote shopping tools that allow consumers to compare coverage side by side.  We promote and support efforts by state insurance regulators to make it easy for the public to review complaint records, market conduct exams and sample policies.  We are cheerleaders for an entrepreneurial initiative called ValChoice that distributes reports on insurance company claim...

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January 16, 2016

Being a small non-profit has it's up side:  United Policyholders is dynamic.  We don't have layers of internal bureaucracy that slow us down when we want to respond to a disaster or make improvements  to our programs, publications and tools.  We are constantly enhancing our tips and tools with new information and feedback from our volunteers, experts and the people we help.

During the Roadmap to Recovery workshop I led in Mountain Ranch, California this past week, we were...

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November 23, 2015

When you buy insurance, you pay for coverage and good service if and when you file a claim.  Good claim service includes estimating the extent and value of your claim fairly and promptly. Insurance company claim adjusters often bring in outside experts to inspect and give their opinions. There's been much written by our organization and others about problems that arise when adjusters bring in outside experts who are too cozy with them and inclined to underestimate damage or find an excluded cause of loss.  This can happen where the expert is motivated to please...

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November 21, 2015

The business of insurance is primarily regulated by individual states with a minimal amount of oversight by the Federal Government.  State regulators coordinate with each other through an organization called The National Association of Insurance Commissioners.  Three times a year, the NAIC hosts a conference that lasts 4 days.  Each day is jam packed with meetings starting at 7:30 am on everything from regulating insurers' finances to marketplace oversight to health care reform implementation and a thousand other issues. In closed door and open meetings, regulators and their...

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