Disgruntledpatriot's Blog

April 14, 2010

State of Massachusetts versus non-profit insurance providers

Filed under: Sick and Tired — Trever Bierschbach @ 7:05 am
Tags: , ,

Could Massachusetts be a crystal ball into our nation’s future.  The Boston Globe has some of the story, so I will paraphrase.  Several health insurance providers in Massachusetts are going to lose money this year, they have all posted losses upwards of tens of millions of dollars.  In order to prevent losses next year they want to raise their rates, but the State said no.  Not only did it say no, but it told those that had stopped taking new customers that they would have to open their rolls again.  Of course the usual ‘greedy insurance company’ comments can be found at the Globe, echoing the anti-capitalist class warfare propaganda of the left.

What the article fails to point out, all of the insurance companies involved, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mass, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Tafts Health Plan, Fallon Community Health Plan, Health New England, and Neighborhood Health Plan are all non-profit companies.  These companies have been operating at a loss for over a year, some due to the recession, but some also due to rising health care costs.  Let’s get this straightened out right now.  Rising health care costs is not the fault of insurance companies, pay close attention to the word game.  The left keeps saying they have to keep health care costs down, and then goes on to bash insurance companies for it.  They are twisting your perspective.  Insurance companies do not control the costs of health care, hospitals, doctors, drug companies, etc. control those costs.  In fact insurance companies form contracts with health providers for how much the insurance provider will get paid, not the other way around.  Beside that is the fact that even the liberal media are starting to report that premiums will go up under the new reform, something that only a select few have been pointing out all along.

Now, to make this impact real let’s look at what these companies do for their customers and communities.  Benefits that will be lost if these companies are forced to close their doors.  Beside the fact that thousands would be left without health insurance there are also charities and grants that would suffer.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts gave away over $5M in 2007 (most recent tax statement they had posted) in grants and charitable contributions.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s foundations has given away over $110M in the past 25 years in grants and charitable contributions.  They also sponsor community programs for health living and youth education.  In 2007 they started a $5M project for children’s (6-12) wellness.

Tufts Health Plan has been doing charitable contributions even before they started their foundation in 2008.  In 2007 the insurance provider awarded $1.1M in grants and continues to continue their charitable practices above what the new foundation provides.  In 2008 the foundation gave away $2.5M to more than 60 local non-profit organizations dealing in health and wellness.

Fallon Community Health Plan has a Charitable Giving Almanac that is chock full of volunteer work, charitable giving, fund raising, and other community outreach.  A brief perusal of it shows hundreds of thousands of dollars donated.

Health New England, along with participating in charitable events, has a wellness van that travels their coverage area teaching wellness and preventative care.

Neighborhood Health Plan has a community benefits report that shows they have awarded or given away over $1.5M in grants and contributions.  Above and beyond this they list their involvement in community outreach, domestic violence prevention, and a slew of other community programs.

Looking at this communities in Massachusetts would lose untold millions in charity and grants, much of which other non-profit organizations rely on to survive.  Further research will show that these companies are far from ‘greedy corporations’.  They offer low, or zero copay for preventative care.  Some offer no caps for outpatient mental health care.  Most encourage their employees to get involved in their communities.  I do not think that Massachusetts will benefit if these companies have to cut back on contributions to cover operating costs.

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