Skip to content

Insurance

US Facing Up To $2 Trillion Bill Each Year From Climate Crisis By 2100

Failing to take action on the climate crisis and surrendering to a worsening spiral of wildfires, heatwaves, flooding, and extreme storms, could leave the federal government with an annual bill of $2 trillion by the end of the century, according to new federal analysis. President Joe Biden released his federal budget for fiscal year 2023 last week which included $44.9bn to tackle the climate crisis, close to a 60 per cent increase from 2021. The budget also included a formal accounting on the financial risks of climate change to the US government for the first time. The analysis, conducted by the chief economist in the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the associate director for climate, energy, environment, and science, found that US gross domestic product (GDP) could be slashed 3 to 10 per cent by the end of this century.

AIG To Stop Insuring Coal, Tar Sands, And Arctic Drilling

Climate justice advocates celebrated Tuesday in response to insurance giant AIG's announcement that it will no longer invest in or provide insurance coverage for any new Arctic drilling activities nor will it finance or underwrite the construction of any new coal-fired power plants, thermal coal mines, or tar sands projects, effective immediately. AIG also said that it will immediately stop investing in or underwriting "new operation insurance risks" of coal-fired power plants, thermal coal mines, or tar sands projects owned by corporations that derive 30% or more of their revenue from those industries or generate over 30% of their energy production from coal.

Directors Of World’s Top Insurance Companies Tied To Pollution

Just over half of all directors at 30 of the world’s largest insurance companies have affiliations to polluting companies and organisations, reveals an investigation by DeSmog, including several individuals holding senior roles at some of the world’s largest energy companies. The findings raise concerns over a potential pervasive conflict of interest on the boards at a time when the international insurance sector is under pressure to halt its support for the fossil fuel industry. Positions held by the insurance directors analysed ranged from director and advisory roles, including current roles at ExxonMobil, Total, and RWE, along with current and former memberships to industry trade association and think tanks, such as the US Chamber of Commerce. DeSmog analysed director CVs on company profiles, LinkedIn pages, official filings, and news clippings from July 2021, logging the past and present work experience of 371 insurance directors who currently sit on the boards of 30 of the world’s largest property and casualty insurers.

Indigenous Youth Demand End To Trans Mountain Insurance

A group of Indigenous youth took their fight against the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project to the Vancouver offices of insurance companies backing the controversial venture earlier this week. On Thursday, approximately 20 youth from the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh) and other First Nations occupied the lobby — as well as south and west entrances — of 250 Howe St., a high-rise building housing Chubb Insurance Co. of Canada, one of 11 insurers backing the pipeline project. “We are demanding that they stop insuring the pipeline,” said a protest spokesperson who declined to give their name. “We’re going to be here all day, we’re going to make sure that they hear us, that they know that we’re here, that we know that we are trying to pressure them to stop insuring this pipeline.”

Economic Impacts Of Civil Unrest

The civil disturbance that started in Minneapolis after the killing by police of George Floyd spread to 20 other states — an unprecedented property insurance catastrophe that will likely impact policy renewals and could even persuade some insurers to exclude coverage for damage caused by riots, executives for Verisk’s Property Claim Services said. “In the U.S., there has been no precedent for a riot catastrophe like this,” Tom Johansmeyer, head of PCS, said during a telephone interview with the Claims Journal on Thursday.

Insurance Companies Are Spending Millions On Attack Ads Against Medicare For All

The privatized, for-profit healthcare industry is close to panicking over the prospect of a nationalized system along the lines of other advanced countries. Healthcare corporations are spending millions of dollars on astroturfed attack ads against Medicare for All. The Partnership for America’s Healthcare Future, for example, a coalition of hospitals and insurance companies, has spent $1 million on a television campaign against changes to the current healthcare system they profit from.

Union Opponents Of Medicare For All Don’t Speak For Labor’s Most Vulnerable Members

As popular support grows for replacing private insurance plans with Medicare for All, critics of the single-payer approach have been playing up the fact that some top union officials, and their political allies, don’t want to do away with job-based medical coverage. “There’s no question that ultimately we need to establish a single payer system,” says national AFL-CIO President Richard  Trumka. “But there has to be a role for those hard-fought-for, high-quality plans that we’ve negotiated.”

Why Thousands Are Getting Hit With Unexpected Medical Bills

Hardly a week goes by without another story in the media covering a family somewhere in America dealing with an outrageous medical bill. Yet, in more and more cases, these families don’t have junk insurance, or lack coverage altogether. Indeed, they have what Americans would consider decent coverage, either through their employer or an Affordable Care Act marketplace. They also followed, or so they thought, the rules of their insurance policy requiring them to seek care inside their provider network. Yet, they are slapped with surprise bills, and often threatened by bankruptcy.

“Affordable” Health Insurance Vs Health Care

There is no such thing as affordable health insurance, because on a purely moral basis, no one should have to pay for administration costs to deny coverage,  and to generate a profit for such a universal basic human need. Insurance 101 teaches us that making small regular payments to build up a buffer for a large emergency expense is a good and prudent idea, even if that large expense never materializes. On a personal level this is called self-insurance. So why don’t we all just insure ourselves? Clearly, the wages most people make, and the costs of modern health care, do not balance out.

The Cost of Employer Insurance Is A Growing Burden For Middle-Income Families

Recent national surveys show health care costs are a top concern in U.S. households.1 While the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces receive a lot of media and political attention, the truth is that far more Americans get their coverage through employers. In 2017, more than half (56%) of people under age 65 — about 152 million people — had insurance through an employer, either their own or a family member’s.2 In contrast, only 9 percent had a plan purchased on the individual market, including the marketplaces.

Minority Neighborhoods Pay Higher Car Insurance Premiums Than White Areas With Same Risk

By Julia Angwin, Jeff Larson, Lauren Kirchner and Surya Mattu for ProPublica - For decades, auto insurers have been observed to charge higher average premiums to drivers living in predominantly minority urban neighborhoods than to drivers with similar safety records living in majority white neighborhoods. Insurers have long defended their pricing by saying that the risk of accidents is greater in those neighborhoods, even for motorists who have never had one. But a first-of-its-kind analysis by ProPublica and Consumer Reports, which examined auto insurance premiums and payouts in California, Illinois, Texas and Missouri, has found that many of the disparities in auto insurance prices between minority and white neighborhoods are wider than differences in risk can explain. In some cases, insurers such as Allstate, Geico and Liberty Mutual were charging premiums that were on average 30 percent higher in zip codes where most residents are minorities than in whiter neighborhoods with similar accident costs. Our findings document what consumer advocates have long suspected: Despite laws in almost every state banning discriminatory rate-setting, some minority neighborhoods pay higher auto insurance premiums than do white areas with similar payouts on claims. This disparity may amount to a subtler form of redlining, a term that traditionally refers to denial of services or products to minority areas.

For Profit Insurers Fueling Opioid Epidemic

By Katie Thomas for The New York Times and Charles Ornstein for ProPublica - At a time when the United States is in the grip of an opioid epidemic, many insurers are limiting access to pain medications that carry a lower risk of addiction or dependence, even as they provide comparatively easy access to generic opioid medications. The reason, experts say: Opioid drugs are generally cheap while safer alternatives are often more expensive. Drugmakers, pharmaceutical distributors, pharmacies and doctors have come under intense scrutiny in recent years, but the role that insurers — and the pharmacy benefit managers that run their drug plans — have played in the opioid crisis has received less attention. That may be changing, however. The New York state attorney general’s office sent letters last week to the three largest pharmacy benefit managers — CVS Caremark, Express Scripts and OptumRx — asking how they were addressing the crisis. ProPublica and The New York Times analyzed Medicare prescription drug plans covering 35.7 million people in the second quarter of this year. Only one-third of the people covered, for example, had any access to Butrans, a painkilling skin patch that contains a less-risky opioid, buprenorphine.

Insurance Industry Pays Senators To Not Support Improved Medicare For All

By Andrew Perez for MapLight - Democratic senators who haven’t signed on to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” proposal have received twice as much cash from the insurance industry as the bill’s sponsors, MapLight has found. The insurance industry has donated an average of $23,600 since 2010 to senators who have co-sponsored Sanders’ bill, according to a MapLight review of campaign finance data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. Democratic senators who have not yet supported his legislation, including Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent, have received an average of $55,500 from the industry. The independent senator from Vermont has been pitching a government-run, single-payer health care system since 1993. But the idea became popular among progressive voters during his 2016 primary campaign against eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and is picking up support. About one-thirdof American adults polled in June said they now support a single-payer health care system. Sanders, who formally proposed his “Medicare for All” plan on Wednesday, has picked up support from 16 of the Senate’s 46 Democrats. Supporters include potential 2020 presidential contenders, such as Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; Kamala Harris, D-Calif.; Cory Booker, D-N.J.; and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. A majority of House Democrats are backing a similar proposal introduced in January by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich.

Senate Debates Billions For Insurers While Public Demands Medicare For All

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Health Over Profit for Everyone - Senators are back from their long summer recess, and they started off with health care back at the top of the agenda. The Senate HELP committee held its first of four hearings on September 6, and Senator Bernie Sanders is preparing to introduce a Medicare for All bill on September 13. The two efforts are a clear example of the underlying dilemma that we have faced in the United States for the past 100 years: Is health care a commodity or a public good? It can’t be both. The failed efforts to repeal and replace the ACA took up a lot of time and energy this year and left the country in no better position to deal with the ongoing healthcare crisis. Now, time is really short because private health insurers are announcing their rates for 2018, and they are, not surprisingly, screaming for more money because they have to (*gasp*) pay for health care. A group of us attended the first Senate HELP committee hearing to convey the message that the people are ready to undertake the serious work of creating a National Improved Medicare for All. Typically, before and sometimes during a hearing, attendees are allowed to hold signs as long as they are not disruptive.

Insurance Issue Pushing More Expensive Drugs, Not Generics

By Charles Ornstein for ProPublica and Katie Thomas for The New York Times - It’s standard advice for consumers: If you are prescribed a medicine, always ask if there is a cheaper generic. Nathan Taylor, a 3-D animator who lives outside Houston, has tried to do that with all his medications. But when he fills his monthly prescription for Adderall XR to treat his attention-deficit disorder, his insurance company refuses to cover the generic. Instead, he must make a co-payment of $90 a month for the brand-name version. By comparison, he pays $10 or less each month for the five generic medications he also takes. “It just befuddles me that they would do that,” said Taylor, 41. A spokesman for his insurer, Humana, did not respond to multiple emails and phone calls requesting comment. With each visit to the pharmacy, Taylor enters the upside-down world of prescription drugs, where conventional wisdom about how to lower drug costs is often wrong. Consumers have grown accustomed to being told by insurers — and middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers — that they must give up their brand-name drugs in favor of cheaper generics.
Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.