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Ex-Insurance VP Unmasks The Sleaziness Of Insurance Companies During COVID-19

Wendell Potter, ex-Cigna vice president and general good Samaritan, took to Twitter to expose the sketchy practices of the American health insurance industry. Not that you needed more bad news in these trying times of the coronavirus pandemic, but this thread is extremely informative and important to share with anyone in your life who believes that the American healthcare system doesn't need to be reformed. On a marginally more humorous note, here are some American healthcare-related memes!

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  • 1
    Text - Wendell Potter @wendellpotter WORD TO THE WISE>> During this coronavirus crisis, keep an eye on every move of my old industry: health insurers. Behind the PR spin, they will be doing everything they can to deny care & maintain profits, while making it look like they're heroes. Here's what to look for: (1/10)
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  • 2
    Text - Wendell Potter @wendellpotter The president said that insurers "have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments." Don't count on that. Insurers' biggest trade group ("AHIP") said soon after Trump's speech that what insurers would waive would be cost-sharing for testing. Not treatment. (2/10)
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  • 3
    Text - Wendell Potter O @wendellpotter You can be sure Trump's comment sent shockwaves through the industry. For many, treatment will be way more expensive than testing. If insurers let their enrollees (YOU) off the hook for out-of-pocket expenses related to treatment, their shareholders would be apoplectic. (3/10)
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  • 4
    Text - Wendell Potter O @wendellpotter Case in point: My old company Cigna says it will cover the cost of COVID-19 testing – but makes no mention of waiving copays or deductibles for *treatment*. Check out their carefully crafted wording here: (4/10) cigna.com/individuals-fa.
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  • 5
    Text - Wendell Potter @wendellpotter Here's another: UnitedHealthcare says "your health is important to [them]" and their top "priority." But if you actually get this coronavirus, good luck with out of pocket costs (5/10) Coronavirus (COVID-19) COVID- Coronavirus uhc.com
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  • 6
    Text - Wendell Potter @wendellpotter One of the most-watched metrics for health insurance companies is called the "medical loss ratio." The more insurers pay for care, the higher the ratio is. (It's called the medical loss ratio because insurers consider it a loss when they pay a claim.) 6/10
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  • 7
    Text - Wendell Potter @wendellpotter As part of Obamacare, insurers have to spend at least 80-85% of premiums on health care. So most try to keep the ratio right at those levels. If it creeps up significantly, shareholders run for the exits. Why? When insurers pay more in claims, that's less $ for profits. (7/10)
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  • 8
    Text - Wendell Potter @wendellpotter Remember: For-profit insurers are in the business to make a profit. Period. And they do better when you don't need them or remember they exist. But when a crisis like this erupts, they get scared. Why? Because folks like you will see what they really do and don't cover. (8/10)
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  • 9
    Text - Wendell Potter @wendellpotter As a former insurance exec, let me tell you: The strategy of moving Americans into high deductible plans has paid off beautifully for shareholders & top execs. But it's forcing millions of Americans to forego care, turn to GoFundMe or bankruptcy court due to awful bills. (9/10)
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  • 10
    Text - Wendell Potter @wendellpotter This pandemic will finally reveal how devastating insurers' greed will be to so many of us. Tragically, some Americans will likely die because policymakers turned the keys of our healthcare system over to profit- driven insurance corporations. That has to finally end. (10/10)
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  • 11
    Text - CorpFinance @xxx000beat Replying to @wendellpotter and @shaunking I was initially opposed to Medicare 4 all due to cost, but damn, private insurers are the worst. I went to the ER two weeks ago (stray dog bite), and I was forced to pay $300 as copay. Healthcare in America is messed up.
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  • 12
    Text - Katie Danna-Poston @katieposton7 Replying to @katieposton7 and @wendellpotter I'm legit more worried about affording the care l'd need than I am the illness itself. That says something about our current system.
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    Meeeeesh
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