This from Health Care For America.
The six largest investor owned health insurance companies recorded huge profit gains in the third quarter of 2010 by spending a smaller share of premiums on medical care, purging unprofitable members and burdening consumers with higher cost-sharing limits.
The companies, Wellpoint Inc., United Health Group Inc., Aetna inc., Humana inc., Cigna Corp and Coventry Health Care
made combined profits of $3.4 billion in the three months ending Sept. 30.
Medicynical Note: The money came, in part, from reducing the proportion of premiums spent on health care–Coventry is down to 76.8%, Aetna at 80.5%.
In 1993 95% of premium dollars went for health care. By 2007 the average amount spent on care was down to about 80%,
In comparison with other industrialized nations:
Performance on measures of health system efficiency remains especially low, with the U.S. scoring 53 out of 100 on measures gauging inappropriate, wasteful, or fragmented care; avoidable hospitalizations; variation in quality and costs; administrative costs; and use of information technology. Lowering insurance administrative costs alone could save up to $100 billion a year at the lowest country rates.
Only in America would such inefficiency tolerated. Amazing.