March 14, 2010
Health-insurance companies are spending $1 million on ads to explain to Americans why their premiums keep going up and up. But the fact that they have a big stash of cash on hand to pay for the expensive ads answers the question. With so much profit sloshing around, the insurance industry can dig into its treasure chest at any time. And it's doing just that to respond to President Obama's recent criticism of the largely unjustified climb in the cost of health insurance. The insurers' ad campaign coincides with the White House's final push toward a vote in Congress on health reforms that would expand access to care and at least moderate the expected doubling of insurance premiums over the next decade.
March 10, 2010 |
South Philadelphia resident Kathy Chavis, 63, broke down in tears last month when she opened the letter announcing a 92 percent increase in her health-insurance premiums. The hike amounts to almost half her monthly Social Security income of $1,383. Chavis is a spunky, outspoken woman who worked her entire adult life, including more than 20 years at Western Union, before she became disabled. She has a life-threatening blocked artery in her kidney and myriad other conditions, including chronic pain, asthma, high blood pressure, and severe depression.
March 9, 2010 |
Leslie Banks writes novels about vampires and werewolves. So far, she hasn't cast any health insurers as villains. But Banks is tempted, she acknowledged yesterday, after a brief trip into the national spotlight pointed at health-insurance reform. The West Philadelphia author introduced President Obama at Arcadia University with a story about a choice she recently faced when her health insurer, Independence Blue Cross, notified her that her premium would double if she wanted to maintain similar insurance coverage.
February 26, 2010 |
As recalls and manufacturer defects continue to raise questions about Toyota vehicle safety, owners may worry that auto-insurance premiums may be affected, too. Not necessarily, experts say. Yes, insurance companies are closely monitoring the developments that led Toyota's chief global executive to testify before Congress on Wednesday. But experts say the ongoing drama may not result in either markedly higher, or lower, insurance premiums for Toyota owners. There is still too little known about the true extent of problems afflicting the vehicles, including popular versions of the Camry, Lexus, and Prius.
December 25, 2009 |
Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett's continuing investigation into insurance fraud has resulted in another round of arrests - 24 people accused of falsely claiming to be state residents in order to obtain lower rates on their automobiles. The practice, known as rate evasion, annually leads to $12 million to $15 million in claims on Pennsylvania policies that should not have been written, Corbett said yesterday in a statement announcing the arrests. "That money is not coming out of the pockets of the insurance companies," Corbett spokesman Nils Frederiksen said.
December 24, 2009 |
In what may be a precedent, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will charge premium ticket prices for its forthcoming show "Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris. " Such pricing generally is reserved for large exhibits involving loans from other museums. But the great majority of the nearly 200 works in the Picasso show are from the museum's own collection; a few pieces will come from private holdings. The museum has seldom, if ever, used special ticketing for an in-house show, though that is standard practice at some other institutions.
September 13, 2009 |
In his speech Wednesday, President Obama outlined a set of health-care goals he supports - including a mandate that everyone have health insurance and the addition of a public health-insurance alternative for the uninsured. But there is no single Obama overhaul bill yet. In varying forms, several of his proposals are included in three measures in the works in Congress: the House tri-committee bill; the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) committee bill; and the Senate Finance Committee bill, still in draft form.
August 15, 2009 |
This is a letter sent yesterday by the Eagles to their suiteholders and premium ticketholders: As you are aware, the Eagles confirmed last evening that we have signed Michael Vick to the team. You are our most valued customers and we understand that this decision may result in some personal soul searching for you, along with some public debate in the coming days and weeks. We do not want this to distract from the relationship we have with you, and we remain fully committed to putting the highest quality product on the field and delivering wins to Eagles fans.
June 4, 2009 |
Some things about learning to drive remain immutable. At StreetSmart Driving Academy, nervous, white-knuckled 16-year-olds still brake with a lurch and take turns too wide. Little else, though, is typical at this Bryn Mawr driving school. Students learn to navigate the Main Line in sleek, blue Audi A4s. Instructors are off-duty cops in smart polos. (Call them coaches, please.) Classes allow time for simulators and field trips. Oh, and unlike those high-school lessons taught in a sweaty classroom, no one has to watch a single boring how-to-drive video.
June 3, 2009 |
A Texas company has settled for $250,000 a lawsuit brought by a Pennsylvania woman with AIDS who alleged that the firm broke its promise to pay her health-insurance premiums. The settlement check was received Monday and the plaintiff, identified as M. Smith in the lawsuit, will get the entire sum and use it to arrange for her own health insurance, said Ronda B. Goldfein, executive director of the nonprofit AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania. The settlement was reached last week, Goldfein said.