Monday, April 26, 2010

Insurance news: Climate change, how to curb the cost of health care, and insurer extortion case

The Seattle Times this weekend ran an op-ed by Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler and Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco. The topic: Climate change.

AP (via ABC News) talks about the "Health Care Law's Unfinished Business: Cost Curbs."

In Tennessee, a couple of companies that we're well-acquainted with are trying to convince a judge that they should be allowed to continue selling health insurance. The problem: TN regulators say the companies have more than $7 million in unpaid health claims -- but only about $2 million in the bank.

And finally, there's this unusual case: A New York Life customer (and former agent, and former manager) was unhappy with the handling of his $49,500 claim. Then it gets interesting. From ABC News:
Rather than walk away, (Anthony) Digati decided to take the dispute to another level. He created a website dedicated to New York Life's products and hired an email spam service.

Then he did something that would get him into a lot of trouble. He sent a letter and several emails advising New York Life officials that it would be in the company's best interests to pay him his money… or else.
Digati has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly attempting to extort $3 million. From the article:
The case is interesting because it is not entirely clear from court documents whether Digati was – as the government claims – intent on extortion – or whether he was merely an extraordinarily frustrated and dissatisfied customer who engaged in hyperbole and exaggerated threats.