This Tuesday, days after America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the national insurance trade industry association, unveiled it's second massive advertising campaign aimed at sabotaging health insurance reform and deceiving seniors about their benefits, more than two dozen California Alliance for Retired Americans seniors called on the health insurance industry to stop attempts at scaring seniors with disinformation about health insurance reform to protect its bottom line.
Last week Humana reported a 65% jump in third quarter profit as soaring Medicare Advantage premiums and membership overcame the company’s slumping commercial business.
California seniors delivered a letter to the regional headquarters of AHIP member company Humana, calling on the company to stop participating in the AHIP ad campaign and to end its own highly controversial outreach to seniors about health insurance reform.
Humana was found in violation of Medicare rules for "misleading beneficiaries" when it sent deceptive mailers to at least 900,000 retirees, warning their benefits would be at risk if reform passed.
Humana receives federal subsidies for Medicare Advantage plans that cost 14% more than traditional Medicare offering similar services. The California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA) seniors discussed how reducing these overpayments will strengthen Medicare by reducing prescription drug costs, making preventive care free of charge and securing the Medicare Trust Fund.
According to CARA Vice President Hene Kelly, removing the windfall overpayments to private Medicare profiteers like Humana is as essential as fighting for a strong public option in the final Senate bill. He said, "Humana’s behavior is unacceptable. Seniors like myself know the truth about health insurance reform and are working harder than ever to cut wasteful government subsidies to insurance companies and to push real health reform. Seniors will benefit from significant health insurance reform and the big health insurance industry will not stop us!"
More photos here.