My Authors
Read all threads
As a former health insurance exec, I don’t think any story better illustrates my old industry’s racket than the one I’m about to tell you: Right now, as we enter the worst public health crisis of our lifetimes (#COVID19), health insurers are still raking in record profits. (1/11)
With the COVID19 death & illness count growing each day, you might expect health insurance companies to be one of the industries taking a huge hit right now. After all, they must be reeling from all the medical care Americans now need & all the claims being filed. Right? (2/11)
Get ready to be outraged. The country’s big for-profit health insurers may actually be one of the huge winners from the pandemic. Among the few corporations to see big jumps in their stock price this week are Anthem, UnitedHealthcare, Cigna & Humana (where I used to work). (3/11)
Investors clearly believe insurers will make a killing, with one Wall Street analyst boosting Cigna to “strong buy.” As medical claims skyrocket how on earth is this possible? A toxic combination of skimping on coverage for COVID19 treatments & raising next year's premiums (4/11)
How do I know this? I used to handle financial information for Cigna & learned that industry CEOs reveal stuff to financial analysts they’d never say to the general public. Few reporters bother to listen in to insurers’ calls with analysts, but one who does is @bobjherman. (5/11)
.@BobJHerman reports that in a recent call with analysts, health insurance CEOs said they don’t expect their profits to fall due to COVID-19. They even expect to meet their most ambitious 2021 earnings goals (and they've already been seeing record profits in recent years). (6/11)
How do health insurers continue to see huge profits during this crisis? "If medical claims start to rise uncontrollably," @bobjherman reports, "they'll increase everyone’s premiums next year." Humana CEO Brian Kane put it more opaquely: “We would price for this for 2021.” (7/11)
They’re already prepping for big rate increases next year. California officials say they expect insurers to hike premiums up to 40% next year for plans in the state’s Obamacare exchange. Those getting coverage through employers should also brace for big premium hikes. (8/11)
In addition, Anthem’s CEO said his company expects to realize a “net saving” because hospitals are canceling non-emergency & elective procedures due to COVID-19. And we already know insurers are refusing to waive copays & deductibles for COVID-19 treatments. (9/11)
This is all music to investors' ears, who are rushing to buy these stocks. When the market closed today, the Dow was up 2.39%. By comparison:

*Cigna: Up 6.5%.
*UnitedHealthcare: Up 6.67%.
*Anthem: Up 9.93%.
*Humana: Up 14.92%.

It’s high times for the insurance racket. (10/11)
So, while many suffer serious illness or death -- and millions lose jobs & health insurance -- the industry sitting pretty in the United States right now is the health insurance industry.

That perfectly sums up all you need to know about healthcare in America in 2020.

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Enjoying this thread?

Keep Current with Wendell Potter

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!