Activists protest health insurance premium increases

    A protest outside one of the biggest health insurers in the Philadelphia region is bringing to light what some see as problems with the healthcare system.

    A protest outside one of the biggest health insurers in the Philadelphia region is bringing to light what some see as problems with the healthcare system. Healthcare activists demonstrated outside Independence Blue Cross’ Philadelphia headquarters yesterday.

    By: Tom MacDonald
    tmacdonald@whyy.org

    Listen:

    [audio:090521TMHEALTH.mp3]

    Lance Haver is Philadelphia’s Director of Consumer Affairs. He says premium increases from 20 to 50 percent proposed by Independence Blue Cross for plans offered to people regardless of pre-existing conditions will make healthcare insurance costs prohibitive for unemployed workers. He says the company believes customers will opt for cheaper plans that provide less coverage.

    Haver: What they say is that people are going to switch from one plan to another plan and some people will lose it. right now looking at the filing their estimate is 3,500 people will lose their coverage.

    Activists say the increase shows a need for alternative coverage that should be affordable and offered by the federal government.

    A spokesperson for Independence Blue Cross says the company is losing money on the plans and is trying to cover increased costs.

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