Friday, November 06, 2009

Passing thought

I was just reading Susie Madrak (of Suburban Guerrilla) on how the New York State Insurance Department is looking into charges that Cigna Corp. mislabeled $5 billion in health care premiums in reports to state regulators, thus making its "medical-loss ratio," the percentage of premiums actually paid out in claims, look bigger than it actually is.

And that phrase hit me for, I have to admit, the first time: "medical-loss ratio." Not "medical-expense ratio" or "medical-cost ratio" or "medical-claim ratio," but "medical-loss ratio." The insurance companies regard the money they pay out as a result of you giving them your hard-earned money in premiums as a "loss." Not a cost, a loss. By definition, every time they pay a claim, their attitude is "We're losing money on you!"

No wonder they try so hard to deny claims: They think that every premium dollar that comes in should be theirs to keep by right.

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