Monday, November 23, 2009

When Insurers Dominate Market Share

Prices rise:
One factor that could be driving larger increases locally: Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois, which historically has used its dominant 50%-plus marketshare to undercut competitors' prices, has been more aggressive with rates this enrollment season, brokers say.

"Blue Cross is the one company that is consistently coming in with higher renewal increases," says Rob Wilson, an insurance broker and president of Westmont-based Employco Group.

A Blue Cross spokeswoman declines to comment.
Funny that when hospital systems coalesce and raise prices to remain "competetive," the FTC cries foul, but when the insurance industry does the same thing, the FTC can't be bothered.

But then, the government knows what's best for patients, right?



Keith said...

Fully agree Wes (is this a first?). Lack of competition encourages higher prices and complacency regarding service, no matter what part of the health care buisiness you are in.

Have to wonder what BCBS of Illinois does to warrent it's non profit status. Build big attractive buildings facing Grant Park?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Wes,

I have a small suggestion.... Please contact Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Lieberman, Rep. John Boehner and perhaps Rep. Camp (a column favorite) and ask for a full inquiry. Recently, I seem to have heard they are very concerned about undercutting the health of the insurance companies. (much sarcasm intended)

I really look forward to your blog and the small and doubtless, fruitless, opportunity I have to challenge your prospective. Many thanks for taking the time to work on this, and more importantly, I wish a very happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.