Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NC Hall of Shame: Blue Cross Blue Shield

I don't know about you, but I just got a friendly letter (which I will scan soon and add to this post) from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina which told me my health insurance premium went up from 326.00 to 397.00 a month starting in 2010 - this after an increase of the same percentage only year and half ago.

Just wondering out there in Asheville and the great Western Carolina beyond, if you got a similar letter, giving the the good news, that despite record profits, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is raising rates again.


Blue Cross Blue Shield Raises Premiums Then Uses Money to Oppose HealthCare Reform
"We need Blue Cross to stop using our premiums to prevent real health care reform and to stop standing in the way of a public option," Adam Searing of the of the N.C. Justice Center's Health Access Coalition, told the Carrboro Citizen."

Bob Greczyn column: I want more money, less competition
"Blue Cross CEO Bob Greczyn, whose company is doing just fine during the recession, has a letter today in The Herald Sun calling on Congress to enact reforms that will net his company hundreds of thousands of new customers without any meaningful competition from a public option"

Speak of the devil … Bob Greczyn of Blue Cross Blue Shield, that is
"As we were saying in our last blog entry, the health insurance industry has largely become a collection of predators who make a fortune off Americans’ bad fortune. One of the worst of the breed, Bob Greczyn, announced that he would retire next year from his job as CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. You might remember Greczyn from his role in creating lie-filled ads against health care reform, as well as his failed attempt to change BCBSNC from a non-profit to a for-profit company. His failure in that venture doesn’t seem to have hurt Greczyn too badly, however, since the “non-profit” CEO raked in $3.9 million in pay last year. That’s right – nearly 4 million bucks for the head of a health insurance company that has jacked up its rates, denied coverage to patients in need, and worked against a federal plan to reduce premiums. Like I said, predators."

North Carolina's Blue Cross Blue Shield Trying to Kill Key Plank of Obama Plan
"One week after the nation's health insurance lobby pledged to President Obama to do what it can to constrain rising health costs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is putting the finishing touches on a public message campaign aimed at killing a key plank in Obama's reform platform."

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Has A Pre-Existing Condition, Greed!

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Non-Profit) Ceo Bob Grezcyn raked in $3.99 million in 2008 and now he seems to be busy writing story boards (View it after the hump) for commercials to stop real health care reform. Shades of Harry and Louise. Of Course Mr. Grezcyn works for a Non-Profit, but his $3.99 million salary sounds like profit to me"

Time for Blue Cross to act like a non-profit
"Nearly $190 million. That’s the just-released annual “profit” of “nonprofit” NC Blue Cross Blue Shield, NC’s largest health insurer. $3.1 million. That’s the latest annual compensation for Blue Cross CEO Bob Greczyn. In fact, when you add in this year’s nearly $600,000 raise, Mr. Greczyn has seen a 261 percent rise in his income at Blue Cross since the year 2000. The typical North Carolina worker, whose premiums make Mr. Greczyn’s outsize salary and profits possible, has seen a 1.7 percent drop in yearly wages over the same period of time."

BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina Urges Its Enrollees to Oppose Health Care Reform
"As the Senate prepares to vote on health care reform, BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina sent its enrollees a mass mailing on Wednesday asking them to oppose health care reform by sending a pre-paid postcard to Senator Kay Hagan, a Democrat and supporter."
Read more at:

BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina's Desperate Attempt To Deceive

"BlueCross BlueShield Of North Carolina Lost $128 Million Lawsuit For Fraudulently UNDERPAYING DOCTORS. As reported by the Durham Herald-Sun, "Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina was among 23 Blues plans across the country that Friday announced a $128 million settlement of a class action lawsuit brought by 900,000 physicians regarding the insurers' business practices. Numerous state medical societies, including the N.C. Medical Society, were involved in the lawsuit, which charged that North Carolina Blue Cross and other Blues plans harmed doctors with unfair business practices that denied and delayed payments for medical care... The complaint identified numerous Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans as defendants in an alleged scheme to defraud doctors in violation of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)." [Herald-Sun, 4/28/07]

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Raises Premiums on Customers as Economy Slides of Cliff
"Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, the state's largest insurer, earned $186 million last year while raising premiums on customers as the economy slid into recession. Such large profits by a nonprofit company elicited sharp criticism from health care reform and state employee advocates. "I think it's outrageous. We have North Carolinians losing their jobs, losing their health insurance, really hurting, and then you look at Blue Cross," said Adam Searing, director of the NC Justice Center's Health Access Coalition and a longtime critic of Blue Cross."


I also wonder if folks who oppose Health Care reform, specifically the Public Option, feel about their premiums going up exponentially every year.

For the record, Blue Cross Blue Shield's Bob Greczyn and his out of control greed has brought shame to his family's good name in North Carolina forever...


Moss said...

I took my postcard from BCBS and changed the wording to tell Senator Hagen TO vote for reform and NOT to be bought by the industry. Thanks for the stamp, BCBS!

Kelly said...

BCBS NC denied me, not on the basis of a pre-existing condition but on my prescription history (which is because of my pre-existing condition). Aside from making me really angry, this scares me because it is a total loophole around the pre-existing condition rules health care reform is trying to implement. -- Great! We'll no longer be denied because of our medical history! Oh wait, now we're denied because of the medications our condition requires we take.

mygothlaundry said...

I went bankrupt some years ago - partly because of the costs incurred by my son's surgery. The kicker here? We had BCBS coverage at the time. After they kicked in what they would, I still owed almost $9,000. Damn good thing I was paying those huge premiums, right?

Dreaming for Justice said...

Besides BCBS raising premiums for individulas and small business ANNUALLY, they are lower rates that they pay to private owned physicians office. They are going to pay Medicare rates or LOWER!!!!! Look at your EOB's after you get them in the mail. It shows you what your doctor is ALLOWED inlcuding the patient's share. They are putting private practice out of business! There will be no will be 1 of about 3 main "corporations" of hospital groups (CMC, Peidmont, Novant and maybe HMA again)that own medical offices that are supposed to support their own hospitals. Referrals to outsiders are discouraged...which is illegal!
BCBS is HUGE and they know it-if you dont agree to thier terms they will drop offices and know that these offices will go out of business without participating.
Could it be the NC State health plan issue of them losing funds and BCBS HUGE donations to the democratic party that are causing thes hikes to patients and drop in reimbursement to doctors????
Someone needs to step in and mnitor!