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Break out the cheese steaks, the pretzels and the roast pork sandwiches -- it's party time at Philadelphia-based CIGNA Insurance.

Champagne bottles are popping all over Center City Philadelphia this weekend.

Profits are up 40 "freaking" percent at CIGNA!

Yup, you read that right! Because people are suffering in the recession and can't afford their massive "CIGNA junk policy" deductibles, medical care is not being accessed by policyholders as much as in the past. As a result, CIGNA's so-called medical loss ratio (MLR) was able to slip from 84.4 percent a year ago to 78.5 percent in the last quarter. The Journal reports:

Analysts noted that the percentage of premium revenue used to pay members' medical claims--a key measure known as the medical loss ratio--in Cigna's main commercial risk segment declined to 78.5% from 84.4% a year earlier. Investors like to see insurers contain the MLRs; regulations under the new health-coverage laws, however, will require insurers to spend at least 80% or 85% of premium revenue on patient care as of 2011, dependent on type of health plan.

As you know, the ACA requires commercial insurers to spend at least 85 percent of premium dollars for medical expenses with group policies and 80 percent for individual policies.

The managed-care industry and analysts expect lower earnings this year compared with 2010 because of health-policy changes--notably the new minimum medical-spending requirements for insurers--and likely return of demand to typical levels. Industry earnings are expected to grow in 2012 and beyond.

Because CIGNA knows its shareholders will be pissed when profits drop next year due to the government-mandated MLR floors, CIGNA is doing all it can to influence policymakers along with the crooks at UnitedHealth, Aetna and WellPoint. Their goal: gut consumer protections in the ACA that could lead to decreased profits for Wall Street.

It's the same old story at CIGNA -- when we suffer, CIGNA wins. The Journal goes on to say:

The industry benefited last year as consumers reduced their use of medical services amid the sluggish economy and high unemployment.

What a twisted and perverted system we have, eh CIGNA?!

People don't get any less sick when they lose their jobs or lose income. Children don't get cancer any less frequently, but they are still forced to cut back on care because of our immoral for-profit health insurance system that translates bad times for the American people into great times for CIGNA executives and shareholders.

Maybe CIGNA can send some of its profits to the Sarkisyan family whose daughter CIGNA "murdered by denial" in 2007. CIGNA, of course, weaseled its way out of accepting any liability for her death.

UPDATE: Yesterday I wrote about how CT insurance executives are doing their best to kill CT's public option, SustiNet. Wendell Potter has a great new column on SustiNet available at the Huffington Post.

Originally posted to james321 on Fri Feb 11, 2011 at 04:54 PM PST.


How should CIGNA celebrate this weekend?

14%2 votes
0%0 votes
85%12 votes

| 14 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  We here in VT are trying to overthrow the system (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loozerio, james321

    There is no room for the pigs that feed at the trough of peoples health, like the executives at Cigna (or any other "health" insurance provider). These people are nothing more than leeches...parasites.

    I really hope my state of Vermont can pass single payer. We are the perfect place to get it done and our new Governor ran on single payer and has made it his first priority.

    If Vermont can do it, so can everyone else. That said, I anticipate freaks from Cigna and other insurance maggots to flood our state in an all out frenzy to stop us. I say bring it!!!

    Here is a good mini-interview from Ezra Klein interviewing our new Governor - Peter Shumlin. I did not vote for him in the primary but am turning out to be real glad I decided to vote Democrat in the general.

    -7.5 -7.28, Democratic Socialism...It's not just for Europeans.

    by Blueslide on Fri Feb 11, 2011 at 05:06:52 PM PST

    •  Thanks for the comment...I agree and hope (0+ / 0-)

      that Vermont succeeds with single-payer care, but it is also exciting what CT is doing with SustiNet.

      We are at our "Canadian moment" with health care reform -- once CT and VT push forward with real public alternatives to for-profit health insurance, the industry will start its painful death. Once California and NY institute public options, the beast will be dead.

  •  That's not out of the ordinary (0+ / 0-)

    My employer is in a completely different business (I'm a geologist) and our profit for last year (the books just closed) was 39.5 percent higher than the year before.

    I suspect there are a number of companies in a range of fields with similar growth in profits.

    •  Right, but the difference is that those... (0+ / 0-)

      businesses are not in the business of being of pseudo-investment banks that gamble on the health of the American public, and deny the American public a government-backed system that would ensure equal access to good care for all.

      •  Don't get me wrong (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think, from a philosophical perspective, the idea of using commercial insurance products to cover the exorbitant cost of medical care is an inherently flawed model.  It makes no sense, is inescapably unfair, and its inevitable outcome is increasingly higher costs driven by companies' insatiable demand for ever-higher returns to their shareholders.

        I wasn't a big fan of the health care reform passed last year, as it didn't address this fundamental problem. I view it as a partial step toward the inevitable: public single-payer care. The only problem is that the "inevitable" may be many, many decades away. Meanwhile, people will get sick, die, or be financially ruined because of this stupid, flawed health care arrangement we have.

        My point was simply that that degree of growth in profit is not really an outlier.  I recognize where it comes from, though.

  •  Just so we're clear here, ... (0+ / 0-)

    profit <> profit margin.

    Profit = Revenue - Expenses
    Profit Margin = PV{Profit}/PV{Premiums Collected}.

    The margin -- not the actual profit -- is the more important number.

    •  Oh, and ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... asking other people to pay $450,000 to give someone a 65%-six-month survival rate is not a paragon of insurance company greed.

      •  You may be right, but it adds insult to injury... (0+ / 0-)

        for a big-profit insurance company with a CEO making millions and millions of dollars a year (a CEO that would undoubtedly use that kind of cash to give his own daughter a 65 percent chance for a longer life) to deny a child the chance to live longer, and, perhaps, get well.

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