Health Care

Good Aspects of Heath Care Reform Bill

| by Toni Brayer MD

The large health care bill has some very good elements in it that should help the average American. One is a provision that will kick in in 2011 that says all health insurers will need to spend 85% of the premium dollar on actually providing care. This means people may actually receive benefits they pay for. What a concept! Before you worry too much about WellPoint and United Health Care, remember that insurance companies make most of their billions in profit by investing your premium dollars. Spending 85% on actual health benefits still leaves them with massive profits.

Reuters reports that the insurance industry is already beginning to game the system and WellPoint has already reclassified more than half a billion dollars of administrative expenses as medical expenses. By shifting accounting practices, these corporations think they can get around the new rules.

Senator John Rockefeller says, "This new data makes clear that too many health insurance companies are still putting profits before people, and they have a lot of work to do to meet the consumer protection requirements of the health care reform law by the end of this year."

It will take a lot of surveillance to make sure health insurers actually do what the law says. It's about time that consumers are being protected.