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    Insurance Department.                         21st Century Insurance                         unions, community, faith-based, and
         Insurance Commissioner Steven            Group Enters Auto                              citizen action groups working for corpo-
    Goldman said the survey showed that           Market                                         rate responsibility and health care."
    the health insurers made progress in                                                              As reported by the Associated Press,
    several areas "but there is room for
    improvement."
         On the plus side, the survey showed
                                                 T   RENTON, N.J., October 13 — The
                                                     21st Century Insurance Group
                                                 of California is the latest entry into
                                                                                                 Phil Wheeler, president of Citizens for
                                                                                                 Economic Opportunity, said the plans
                                                                                                 mislead workers into believing they have
    that three-fourths of respondents had        the New Jersey car insurance market,            adequate coverage when they may receive
    no trouble in seeing a doctor, but on the    it was announced by state Insurance             only $1,000 in annual maximum ben-
    flip side, only 47 percent reported that     Commissioner Steven Goldman.                    efits. His group filed the lawsuit against
    their HMO handled claims promptly                 He said the entry is a "clear indica-      Aetna; its subsidy. Strategic Resources;
    and correctly.                               tion that consumers continue to ben-            and the state Insurance Department.
         Further, only 36 percent said they      efit from increased competition, and                 The AP story quotes Aetna spokes-
    would rate their HMO a "9 or 10."            demonstrates that we continue to make           woman Cynthia Michener, in respond-
                                                 progress toward our goal of a stable, sus-      ing to the lawsuit, as stating that the
    Aetna Leads the Way                          tainable automobile insurance market."          plans are designed for part-time and
    According to the report, only 31 percent         The 21st Century Insurance group            seasonal workers who do not have any
    of ClGNA's customers rated it a 9 or 10,     was founded in 1958, and including              other access to health insurance. The
    and only 33 percent gave a high rating       New Jersey, now does business in 13             plans, she added, are designed to give
    to Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield.           states. This year it also entered the car
        Aetna got high marks from 57             insurance markets in Florida, Georgia,            "I am strongly concerned as well
    percent of the respondents; Oxford           and Pennsylvania.                                 with how and why the Insurance
    53 percent; WellChoice 43 percent;               Goldman said that 21st Century is                Departnient approved these
    AmeriHealth 39 percent; United 33 per-       the seventh company to enter the New                          policies."
    cent; and HealthNet 31 percent.              Jersey car insurance market since the                                -Attorney Genera/
          A department official said HMOs        new insurance law easing regulations                                Richard Blumenthal
     did better in eye exams for diabetes        and restrictions on insurance compa-
     patients (up four percent), childhood       nies went into effect in 2003.                  people some coverage where they would
     immunization (up three percent), and            The other entrants are Mercury              normally have no coverage at all.
     anti-depressant medication management       General, GEICO, Esurance, AMEX,                      Blumenthal issued a statement after
     (up three percent).                         Progressive, and Unitrin Direct.                receiving questions about the lawsuit. His
          The department official said in            Goldhian said that, since the new           statement reads, "My office will inves-
    individual plan performance, CIGNA,          law was enacted, the number of auto-            tigate whether these health insurance
    Oxford, and United Health reported           mobiles insured has continued to climb          policies harm consumers and under-
    declines in five or more of the clini-       and "premiums have dropped."                    mine state-mandated coverage require-
    cal performance measures, with each              He said that, because of dropping           ments. I am very concerned that these
    reporting deceases of at least six percent   rates. New Jersey residents have "saved         policies dilute or circumvent minimum
    for one or more measures.                    more than a half billion dollars" in            coverage standards, which I have strong-
         It was also reported that Horizon,      insurance premiums.                             ly advocated. These policies may well
    WellChoice, and AmeriHealth all                                                              give employees a false sense of security,
    had mixed performances, with more                                                            allegedly capping coverage at as little as
    improvements than declines.                  ^CONNECTICUT                                    $1,000, less than the cost of an overnight
         The report is based on opinions of                                                      hospital stay. I will review whether these
    11,300 customers in the plans, plus data     AG Will Look Into Aetna s                       policies provide a flimsy fiction of cover-
    compiled by the HMOs. It marks the           Limited Health Policies                         age instead of a secure safety net.
    first year that the Insurance Department                                                         "I am strongly concerned as well
    issued the report. Previous reports were
    compiled by the Health Department. A
    year ago, the functions of the Office of
                                                 H      ARTFORD, Conn., October 26
                                                       — Connecticut Attorney General
                                                 Richard Blumenthal has announced that
                                                                                                 with how and why the Insurance
                                                                                                 Department approved these policies."
                                                                                                     The department told the AP that,
    Managed Care were transferred from           he will look into the sale of limited           as part of its approval of the policies,
    the Health Department to the Insurance       health insurance policies by Aetna as a         Aetna is required to "clearly disclose"
    Department.                                  result of a lawsuit filed by the Citizens for   in each policy that the consumer is
         The detailed report is on the depart-   Economic Opportunity, which describes           not purchasing comprehensive medical
    ment's website.                              itself as "a statewide coalition of labor       coverage. [IA]


8   November 6, 2006 / INSURANCE ADVOCATE

				
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