Insurance News

ALBANY, N.Y.—Eleven health insurers have been ordered to refund $114.5 million to policyholders in New York under minimum medical spending requirements similar to those being enacted nationwide under health care reform beginning this year.

The refunds will be paid to holders of group and individual health insurance policies that cover 573,748 people in New York, according to a spokesman for the state’s Department of Financial Services.

Under a change to New York state insurance law implemented Read the rest of this entry »

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A new generation of predictive modeling tools is rolling out in the workers compensation market, which experts say could make claims adjustment and management more of a science.

Modeling has been available in workers comp for years, but insiders say newer versions are more accurate in identifying problematic indemnity claims before their losses spiral out of control.

“I think everyone is always looking for that Holy Grail of information,” said Paul Braun, managing director of casualty claims Read the rest of this entry »

The emotional toll for Americans who lose a friend or loved one in a motor vehicle crash has a steep financial counterpart — an average $6 million per fatal accident, according to auto club AAA.

In a new report comparing the cost to the nation of motor vehicle crashes with that of traffic congestion, AAA analyzed the financial damage of traffic crashes in 99 urban areas. It concluded that the cost of crashes in those cities was more than three times that of congestion: $299.5 billion compared Read the rest of this entry »

More than six years after Hurricane Katrina’s rampage, authorities have taken only halting steps toward identifying weaknesses in a nationwide patchwork of levees intended to protect millions of Americans’ lives and property during potentially catastrophic floods.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, accused of building substandard levees and floodwalls that failed when Katrina swamped the Gulf Coast in 2005, has spent $56 million since then developing the initial phase of a national levee inventory Read the rest of this entry »

Connecticut suffered $500 million to $750 million in insured damage during last weekend’s nor’easter, according to an early estimate provided by the Connecticut Insurance Department.

That’s 20 to 25 percent of the total insurance-covered damage of $1 billion to $3 billion caused by the storm that dumped snow from Maryland to Maine. Damage covered by insurance is an unknown fraction of total economic losses.

“We cannot be certain until the adjuster/claims information are reported by the Read the rest of this entry »

WASHINGTON—Medicare beneficiaries will face out-of-pocket expenses that are 2.1% higher next year, the Department of Health and Human Services announced last week.

Next year, the deductible for the first 60 days of a hospital stay will rise to $1,156, which is up from $1,132 this year.

In addition, the daily copayment for days 61 through 90 will increase to $289 from $283, while the daily payment for stays exceeding 90 days will increase to $578 from $566.

The increases also will affect Read the rest of this entry »

The U.S. insurance industry, already bruised by one of the most devastating weather years in history, appears to have suffered another blow from Saturday’s unprecedented northeastern snowstorm.

Early data from some of the country’s largest insurers suggests the hit was not as severe as it could have been — because it came on a weekend.

At least eight people died in the storm and, as of Monday morning, some 2.2 million customers were still without power. More than 300 roads were partially Read the rest of this entry »