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Humana Investigation: Take a Look for Yourself

September 23rd, 2009 · 4 Comments

By now you all know that Humana is under investigation for misleading old people into believing that their Medicare benefits will be cut.

Click here for details on that.

Like the story says, Medicare “providers are only allowed to communicate with plan members about benefits they have now, not about possible changes to benefits. They are also not allowed to use plan-related communications to lobby for policies or legislation.” Them’s the rules, kids.

So take a look at one of the mailers for yourself:


CLICK FOR PDF

Click here (Warning: PDF Link) for a copy of the entire document. See below for an excerpt:

With the media reporting daily on Congress’ and President Obama’s efforts to enact meaningful health reforms this year, many Humana Medicare Advantage (MA) members are contacting us with questions. Members just like you want to know what these reforms might mean for their Medicare health plan and how they can get involved to help protect Medicare Advantage.

We are working diligently to ensure that our nation’s leaders understand how proposed reforms might affect you. At the same time, we have created the Partner program to keep you informed about proposed Medicare changes and help you get involved so your voice is heard in Washington. Your opinions matter to us, to others on Medicare, and to your elected officials. There are two things you can do now to help show Congress the importance of Medicare Advantage

You can see for yourself that Humana intentionally uses “Medicare health plan” and “Medicare Advantage” interchangeably to confuse recipients of the literature.

The White House just released this information about seniors and health insurance reform, courtesy of Joe Biden and Kathleen Sebelius:

Ending overpayments to private insurance companies that cost all Medicare beneficiaries.

The federal government pays private insurance companies on average 14 percent more for providing coverage to Medicare Advantage beneficiaries than it would pay for the same beneficiary in the traditional Medicare program. There is no evidence that this extra payment leads to better quality for Medicare beneficiaries, and all Medicare beneficiaries pay the price of these excessive overpayments through higher premiums – even the 78 percent of seniors who are not enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. A typical couple in traditional Medicare will pay on average nearly $90 next year to subsidize private insurance companies that do not provide their Medicare benefits. Health insurance reform will eliminate excessive government subsidies to Medicare Advantage plans, which could save the Federal government, taxpayers, and Medicare beneficiaries well over $100 billion over the next 10 years.

There you have it. You can read the entire report the Vice President and HHS Secretary by clicking here.

And like I said in an earlier comment, I love how “Conservatives” are suddenly up in arms because a socialized medicine program is being cut. And love that these same “Conservatives” have no idea that their tax dollars are paying for private benefits so that Humana and other insurers can line their pockets. Literally paying them millions to offer benefits above and beyond Medicare – just because – so they can pocket some extra profit.

Tags: Health Care · Investigation · Kentucky Business

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Faye // Sep 24, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Their sad excuse is ‘freedom of speech’. (supported by Mitch McConnell http://www.wave3.com/Global/story.asp?S=111871490). Humana’s profits doubled in the last year mostly due to senior medcare products. With several competitors leaving the market due to scandals, I would think all companies wanting to pick up those displaced customers would be very careful to be in compliance Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

  • 2 Who'd a thunk it? // Sep 24, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Funny how McConnell is “outraged” by this. Too bad he doesn’t get upset about the fact that most Kentuckians can’t afford Humana healthcare (or Anthem) and Humana continues to rake it in. Stand up for your constituents, Senator!

  • 3 Hall // Sep 24, 2009 at 10:36 am

    What the Senator will stand for, as usuals, is the lining of his pockets.

  • 4 AbleAmerican // Sep 24, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    All Medicare Advantage plans have to file with CMS in July for the following year. This filing already has their premiums, benefits, copays and out of pocket amounts set into the 2010 contract. Even if every senior citizen in the country called and begged their congressmen to vote no on Health Care Reform and leave everything as it is, their rates and benefits are already slashed. The only change they have instituted is more profit for the insurance company.