Thursday, April 29, 2010

Regence issues warning about unusual "vitamin coverage scams"

Regence BlueCross BlueShield has issued an unusual warning for consumers to "beware vitamin coverage scams."

Regence members in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, the company says, have reported getting notices for medical services they did not receive. The claims were allegedly filed on behalf of companies selling nutritional supplements. The claims are coded for things like consultations, lab work or x-rays, not for vitamins.

Here's a link to the consumer alert.

Insurance news: high-risk pools, insurance murder case, health insurer seized, and bill would re-up fed flood insurance for 5 years

Insurance news this morning:

USA Today: Health Insurance Risk Pools: About 200,000 people already enrolled in 35 state high-risk insurance pools "will not be allowed to enroll this summer in a new lower cost federal program for people like them because they already buy pricey state-run plans." In order to be eligible, "a person can't have had health coverage for six months. … The state pools charge high premiums — often double standard rates for healthier people in the individual market — to help cover costs." The health overhaul puts aside $5 billion for the new high-risk pools "and says federal risk pools can't charge more than standard rates. ... California and Texas are urging applicants to their state pools to consider waiting for the federal program"
USA Today: IRS lacks clout to enforce mandatory health insurance

Feinstein pushes to cancel Anthem rate hike

WA man guilty of killing 3-y/o girl for $200,000 in life insurance; preyed on single moms so he could target their kids for insurance payoffs

Judge liquidates troubled medical insurance firms: A judge has ordered the permanent shutdown and liquidation of two Tennessee companies accused of selling phony medical insurance policies. The Tennessean reports state insurance officials say Springfield-based American Trade Association and Smart Data Solutions LLC collected almost $22 million in premiums and left customers with nearly 24,000 unpaid claims.

Flooding: House passes bill to improve NFIP and reauthorize it for 5 years

--PIA applauds

Utah governor worries about the cost of high-risk pool: Utah isn't ready to dive into a temporary high-risk insurance pool created through the new health reform law until it gets some assurances the federal government will cover the costs. Gov. Gary Herbert sent a letter Wednesday to Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius questioning the financial feasibility of the $5 billion program, which is supposed to kick in at the start of July.

WellPoint to cancel coverage only in fraud cases: Health insurer WellPoint Inc. said Tuesday it will start complying ahead of schedule with a health care reform provision that limits cases in which insurers can cancel coverage when a customer gets sick.

Seattle Times: Fine print hinders effort to cover young adults: President Barack Obama is pushing to speed up insurance coverage for young adults in their twenties - a key early benefit of his prized health care overhaul - but the law's fine print suggests some won't be able to sign up until next year.