|By PR Newswire||
|August 14, 2014 02:58 PM EDT||
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Aug. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kaiser's announcement of a 40 percent increase in profits to $2.1 billion for the first half of this year is the latest in a string of hefty health insurer profit reports that illustrate why Proposition 45's protections against price gouging are desperately needed, said Consumer Watchdog today.
Proposition 45 will prohibit excessive profits and require health insurers to get approval for rate hikes. It applies the same rules to health insurance that have saved California drivers over $100 billion since 1988, while making the auto insurance market highly competitive and profitable for insurers. More than 35 other states regulate health insurance rates, but not California.
After raising rates last January for individuals by as much as 22 percent and for small businesses by as much as 56 percent, Kaiser had some of the highest premium rates in California this year. Those high rates led to fewer Covered California Exchange enrollments than expected, but dramatically increased Kaiser's profits. Kaiser's net income the first six months of this year was $601 million higher than the $1.5 billion reported for the same period in 2013.
"The gambit paid off for Kaiser," said Rob Leonard of Consumer Watchdog, which is sponsoring Prop 45. "It is the premiums of price gouged consumers that make these huge profits for Kaiser and its overpaid executives. Without Proposition 45's protections Californians will face steep rate hikes next year."
On top of these massive profits, Kaiser has accumulated a reserve that, as of December 31, 2103 was $21.7 billion, or 1626% more than is required by the state.
Proposition 45 will allow the state to return excessive reserves to policyholders in the form of lower premiums. It will also allow for refunds of excessive rates paid since November 2012 and gives the insurance commissioner the power to reject unreasonable rate increases.
Even with its average 1.4% drop in California Exchange rates for 2015, Kaiser remains expensive compared to other insurers in California. This pricing strategy, combined with reduced benefits and services, and relatively modest membership increases, ensure more of the same – high prices and bloated profits and reserves – unless Proposition 45 passes.
The health insurance industry is riding a recent wave of big profits. Health Net's second quarter profit increased 400 percent over the same period last year to $120.9 million. WellPoint's profit was $1.4 billion for the first half of 2014. United HealthCare reported $2.5 billion in profit during the same period, and paid out $367 million in dividends.
"These massive profits are coming at the expense of consumers who have no protection from health insurer price gouging," said Leonard. "Prop 45 will give beleaguered Californians relief from the merciless rate hikes health insurers are currently free to impose, while still providing fair industry profits," he said.
Paid for by Consumer Watchdog Campaign – Yes on 45, a coalition of consumer advocates, attorneys, policyholders, and nurses. 777 S. Figueroa St., Ste. 4050, Los Angeles, CA 90017. Major Funding by Consumer Watchdog Campaign and Thomas Steyer.
SOURCE Consumer Watchdog Campaign
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will address the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affec...
May. 24, 2015 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,165
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...
May. 24, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,029
Compute virtualization has been transformational, yet security policy implementation and enforcement has lagged behind in agility and automation. There are a number of key considerations when implementing policy in private and hybrid clouds. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Malcolm Rieke, the Director of Product Management at Catbird, discussed the impact of this new paradigm and what organizations can do today to safely move to software-defined network and compute architectures, including: ...
May. 24, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,630
Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing...
May. 24, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,562
An effective way of thinking in Big Data is composed of a methodical framework for dealing with the predicted shortage of 50-60% of the qualified Big Data resources in the U.S. This holistic model comprises the scientific and engineering steps that are involved in accelerating Big Data solutions: problem, diagnosis, facts, analysis, hypothesis, solution, prototype and implementation. In his session at Big Data Expo®, Tony Shan focused on the concept, importance, and considerations for each of t...
May. 24, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,230
There has been a lot of discussion recently in the DevOps space over whether there is a unique form of DevOps for large enterprises or is it just vendors looking to sell services and tools. In his session at DevOps Summit, Chris Riley, a technologist, discussed whether Enterprise DevOps is a unique species or not. What makes DevOps adoption in the enterprise unique or what doesn’t? Unique or not, what does this mean for adopting DevOps in enterprise size organizations? He also explored differe...
May. 24, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,564
Cloud Foundry open Platform as a Service makes it easy to operate, scale and deploy application for your dedicated cloud environments. It enables developers and operators to be significantly more agile, writing great applications and deliver them in days instead of months. Cloud Foundry takes care of all the infrastructure and network plumbing that you need to build, run and operate your applications and can do this while patching and updating systems and services without any downtime.
May. 24, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,386
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization's assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? In...
May. 24, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,299
T-Mobile has been transforming the wireless industry with its “Uncarrier” initiatives. Today as T-Mobile’s IT organization works to transform itself in a like manner, technical foundations built over the last couple of years are now key to their drive for more Agile delivery practices. In his session at DevOps Summit, Martin Krienke, Sr Development Manager at T-Mobile, will discuss where they started their Continuous Delivery journey, where they are today, and where they are going in an effort ...
May. 24, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,029
Storage administrators find themselves walking a line between meeting employees’ demands to use public cloud storage services, and their organizations’ need to store information on-premises for security, performance, cost and compliance reasons. However, as file sharing protocols like CIFS and NFS continue to lose their relevance, simply relying only on a NAS-based environment creates inefficiencies that hurt productivity and the bottom line. IT wants to implement cloud storage it can purchase a...
May. 24, 2015 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,700
The cloud is everywhere and growing, and with it SaaS has become an accepted means for software delivery. SaaS is more than just a technology, it is a thriving business model estimated to be worth around $53 billion dollars by 2015, according to IDC. The question is - how do you build and scale a profitable SaaS business model? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jason Cumberland, Vice President, SaaS Solutions at Dimension Data, discussed the common mistakes businesses make when transitioning t...
May. 24, 2015 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,782
Are your Big Data initiatives resulting in Big Impact or Big Mess? In her session at Big Data Expo, Penelope Everall Gordon, Emerging Technology Strategist at 1Plug Corporation, shared her successes in improving Big Decision outcomes by building stories compelling to the target audience – and her failures when she lost sight of the plotline, distracted by the glitter of technology and the lure of buried insights. The cast of characters includes the agency head [city official? elected official?...
May. 24, 2015 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,187
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial C...
May. 24, 2015 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 5,411
Big Data is amazing, it's life changing and yes it is changing how we see our world. Big Data, however, can sometimes be too big. Organizations that are not amassing massive amounts of information and feeding into their decision buckets, smaller data that feeds in from customer buying patterns, buying decisions and buying influences can be more useful when used in the right way. In their session at Big Data Expo, Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, and Ian Khan, Global Strategic Positi...
May. 24, 2015 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,309
The move to the cloud brings a number of new security challenges, but the application remains your last line of defense. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Arthur Hicken, Evangelist at Parasoft, discussed how developers are extremely well-poised to perform tasks critical for securing the application – provided that certain key obstacles are overcome. Arthur Hicken has been involved in automating various practices at Parasoft for almost 20 years. He has worked on projects including database dev...
May. 24, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,649