Category Insurance Industry

Cigna Target of Class-Action Lawsuit Alleging Discrimination

Major Providers As Obamacare Insurance Co-Ops Struggling With Cash Flow

Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg via Getty Images

MIAMI — A consumer advocacy group has filed a class-action lawsuit against Cigna saying a new policy discriminates against people with HIV and AIDS and violates the federal health law by requiring them to get their medications from its mail-order pharmacy.

Consumer Watchdog filed the lawsuit Monday in South Florida federal court. It says sending the drugs through the mail puts privacy at risk because packages could end up at the wrong address or be seen by others. It also says the mail is not a reliable way to ensure people get their medications on time and prevents them from interacting in person with a pharmacist. Patients who do not obtain their medications by mail must pay full price.

The group alleges that the policy also violates the Afforda...

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Economic Impact From Hurricane Sandy Won’t Derail Economy

Hurricane Sandy damage
WASHINGTON (AP) – Airlines have canceled thousands of flights, stranding travelers around the globe. Insurers are bracing for possible damages of $5 billion. Retailers face shrunken sales.

Hurricane Sandy took dead aim at New Jersey and Delaware on Monday, with sheets of rain and wind gusts of more than 90 mph knocking out electricity and causing major disruptions for companies, travelers and consumers. But for the overall economy, damage from the storm will likely be limited. And any economic growth lost to the storm in the short run will likely be restored once reconstruction begins, analysts say. Americans may even spend more before the storm when they stock up on extra food, water and batteries.

Preliminary estimates are that damage will range between $10 billion and $20 billion...

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5 Times When Senior Citizens Still Need Life Insurance

Couple Sitting on Dock

Alamy

As you get older, it may seem less and less prudent to carry life insurance. You could be retired, own your home outright and have kids who are self-sufficient. While for most people insurance is intended to protect you and your loved ones if you die prematurely, there are some financial situations where you may still need to consider if you need life insurance, how much life insurance you need and what your policy costs regardless of your age. Before you let your policy lapse or stop making payments, consider the reasons you might still need life insurance as a senior.

1. If You’re in Debt or Still Working

If you are still making payments on real estate deals, student loans or credit card debt, it’s a good idea to consider whether you still need life insurance...

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Maria Bartiromo’s Book Is a Fly on the Wall During Lehman’s Fall

Lehman BrothersSept. 15 marks the two-year anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy and the extraordinary events that not only shook Wall Street to its core but altered its landscape forever.

In her newly released book, (Portfolio/Penguin, $26.95), author and CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo skillfully describes the fateful events that took place during the weekend of Sept. 12, 2008. Bartiromo gives the reader a fly-on-the-wall view of the discussions and phone calls that determined the fate of Lehman Brothers, the esteemed 158-year-old investment bank, as well as the fate of many other Wall Street firms, from Merrill Lynch to Morgan Stanley (MS) and Goldman Sachs (GS).

Bartiromo’s access to movers and shakers from Wall Street to Pennsylvania Avenue is impressive, and it affords her an eyewitness account f...

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Biz Brief: Congressional Watchdog Criticizes AIG Bailout

A government watchdog group Thursday criticized efforts by the New York Federal Reserve under the leadership of Timothy Geithner for failing to exhaust all options to arrange a private-sector rescue of American International Group (AIG) before launching a taxpayer-funded bailout in 2008.

A report by the Congressional Oversight Panel said Geithner, now U.S. Treasury Secretary, on Sept. 15, 2008 left the task of finding a private bailout for AIG to just two Wall Street banks, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group (GS), which had “severe conflicts of interest as they would have been among the largest beneficiaries of a taxpayer bailout,” the report said. “By failing to bring in other players, the government neglected to use all of its negotiating leverage.”

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Treasury: Bailout Will Cost Taxpayers 85% Less Than Expected

The federal bailout program, also known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP, will end up costing U.S. taxpayers approximately 85% less than originally expected, according to a U.S. Treasury Department report released Tuesday.

The bill will come to about $50 billion, far less than the $350 billion that the Congressional Budget Office initially estimated when the program was enacted two years ago. And if additional items that offset the cost — such as the Treasury’s interests in insurance giant American International Group (AIG), which was recently restructured — are factored in, the bill falls to about $30 billion.

“TARP has been unpopular for good reason — no one likes using tax dollars to rescue financial institutions,” wrote Timothy G...

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Watchdog: Allstate Auto Insurance Pricing Scheme Is Unfair

Earns Allstate

Nati Harnik/AP

The “Good Hands” people at Allstate have figured out a shady, possibly illegal, way to push up insurance rates, according to the Consumer Federation of America, which said Tuesday it discovered a letter from the insurance giant that is a “smoking gun.”

And the group, one of the most influential consumer advocacy groups in the nation, said the implications to American consumers over what Allstate (ALL) is doing is huge and can impact anyone with car insurance.

If regulators don’t block this scheme immediately, American consumers will pay a huge price.


“This is a watershed moment in the history of insurance consumer protection,” J. Robert Hunter, CFA’s Director of Insurance and the former Texas Insurance Commissioner, said in a statement...

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Top5 Insurance Industry Secrets You Need to Know

By Stacey L. Bradford,
Associate Editor, SmartMoney.com

INSURANCE IS many things, but straightforward isn’t exactly one of them.

A person’s age, claim history and credit score are just some of the factors used in the complicated formula that determines their premiums. And while some of these factors are controllable — a credit score can be improved or impaired — others are completely out of your hands — no one’s getting any younger, for example. Learning what matters most to insurers can help policyholders pinpoint ways to lower their premiums or get more claims covered.

To get the most out of your policy, here are five insurance industry secrets worth knowing:

1. We Track Every Claim You Make

The insurance industry keeps an almost Big Brother-like eye on the claims policyholders make...

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The 5 Biggest Obamacare Myths Explored, Explained and Debunked

Obamacare myths
Recently, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s favorable ruling on Obamacare, I wrote an article explaining what it would mean to the average middle class family. Almost immediately, the floodgates opened: The piece received more than 1,500 comments and my e-mail inbox filled up with questions from readers.

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It’s not surprising that there’s a lot of confusion about the impact that the health care reform law will have: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an almost-unreadable 955 pages of densely-written government-speak...

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Treasury Sells Big Chunk of AIG Stock at a Profit

AIG

Sept 10 (Reuters) – The U.S. government cut its stake in American International Group Inc (AIG) to about 21.5 percent on Monday, making a profit of $12.4 billion on the insurer’s crisis-era bailout and bringing the unpopular rescue closer to its end.

The Treasury Department sold $18 billion worth of the insurer’s shares at $32.50 apiece, in what could yet be the largest ever secondary offering in U.S. history. The underwriters have the option to buy another $2.7 billion worth of AIG shares, which they can exercise in the next 30 days.

The offering represents the government’s biggest sell-down of AIG shares since it rescued the insurer with bailouts in 2008 and 2009. At one time, the government pledged as much as $182...

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