News: Good, Bad and Ugly

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INVESTMENT TRACT 21% Return on investment achieved

You’ve heard me talking about great investment potential via Fractional Life Shares. I’m happy to report that investors experienced annual returns in excess of 21% with a recent policy maturity.

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Insurers Seeking Big Premium Hikes For 2016 ACA Plans.

 Health insurers “around the country are seeking rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more” in 2016.
According to Federal and state documents, As reported in the New York Times (7/4, A1, Pear, Subscription Publication)

Oregon Insurance Commissioner Laura Cali last week approved steep premium increases for insurers offering 2016 Affordable Care Act plans, saying the hikes are needed to ensure that plans stay afloat. According to the Journal, Cali approved an average 25.6 percent increase for Moda Health Plan Inc., and also approved average increases of 30 percent or more for four smaller carriers.


Does Blue Shield Need $4 Billion in excess?

The Los Angeles Times (7/5, A1, Terhune) reported that the California Franchise Tax Board slammed nonprofit health insurer Blue Shield of California for stockpiling ‘extraordinarily high surpluses’ — more than $4 billion — and for failing to offer more affordable coverage or other public benefits. Officials cited those reasons and others for revoking Blue Shield’s state tax exemption last year, according to documents reviewed by the Times. Blue Shield has argued that it needed the extra cash to deal with volatility in the insurance market during the rollout of the ACA. But tax officials “reviewed the company’s revenues and expenses for medical claims for a seven-year period and determined that the ‘market has not been particularly unpredictable.’”

Commentary: Since 2010, I’ve been stating that insurance premiums will continue to rise at an alarming rate. Each year I’ve predicted 20% – 40% increases, which we’ve experience for the last 5 years. Of course I only deal with excess in the HUNDREDS of dollars, not BILLIONS. Apparently, counting all that extra cash creates a need that us middle class Americans aren’t aware of.

Disclaimer: The author tends to be sarcastic. 


Aetna Buys Humana for $37 Billion

The CBS Evening News (7/3, story 7, 0:15, Axelrod) reported that Aetna announced Friday that it would buy Humana for $37 billion. The acquisition “will make Aetna the largest provider of Medicare advantage plans, with nearly 4.5 million members.”

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