Excuse the slightly tongue-in-cheek lead-in, because this week’s Cavalcade of Risk is full of great risk management information. We visit a variety of risk management experts for their take on current events impacting their practices. Take a few minutes, grab a cup of coffee and visit and interact with our contributors.
In this post, Dr. Sidorov looks at a recent scientific study that examined national insurance data to determine what happened to the commercial health insurers in the wake of the Obamacare rule that they spend at least 80 to 85 percent of their income on medical care. It turns out that the most vulnerable part of the health insurance market-individual insurance-saw a decrease in profitability.
Jeff Rose helps us through the maze of medical conditions that can limit your ability to buy health insurance in his post. If you have an aortic valve disorder like aortic stenosis or aortic insufficiency, these conditions will impact you when you apply for life insurance. Insurance companies are very cautious about aortic valve disorders because of their potential to cause serious heart problems. Therefore, this may have an impact on who you decide to insure yourself with and may mean that you’ll have to do some additional research into exactly what each policy covers. Using a comparison site like Policyme (https://www.policyme.com/) should help you to wade through the options and find one that works best for you. There is hope, however. Jeff informs us you can still get insurance despite your condition. It really depends on a few factors, including the seriousness of your condition. To get a better idea of what to expect, read his guide to insurance underwriting for aortic valve disorders.
Here’s a news flash: If you are uninsured, there is a risk of being overcharged for hospital services. In California, the risk is 0. Jason Shafrin of The Healthcare Economist explains why here.
Recently, there have been some remarkable changes in how life insurance is now underwritten, including the use of social media and new technology. Henry (Hank) Stern of InsureBlog has the details.
Julie Ferguson of Workers’ Comp Insider isn’t talking scratch when she asks: “How much risk do you want to take with your kids’ chicken nuggets?” Chickens are on the front burner on the legislative circuit lately with the USDA seeking to overhaul poultry processing regulations that many see as unsafe for workers. But Julie notes that there is more than just worker safety at stake. Read her fast take on fast food here. I would have said, “Winner winner; chicken dinner.” Except after reading her post, and watching the video, I may go vegan. Soon.
David Williams of Health Business Blog says that a patient advocate tells him that it’s “dangerous” to rely on online doctor ratings and reviews and to rely on the “facts” instead. David argues that the case against reviews is seriously overrated and the proposed alternative paths are not as promising as they sound. Read his comments here. I have to admit, I’m a big believer in Yelp and a frequent Yelper myself. I don’t go out to dinner without checking Yelp, let alone try to find a service provider, doctors and dentists included.
Here are some closing thoughts from yours truly regarding the trends I and other risk management experts throughout the US are currently seeing.
- Enterprise risk management is becoming increasingly important to organizations.
- Jury verdicts continue to rise. Check your liability limits and double check your policies to determine if you have defense inside or outside limits. Most professional liability policies provide defense within limits, and defense costs can erode your limits significantly.
- Workers’ compensation costs have moderated in a few states; however, don’t expect to see rates decrease anytime soon, like never. Medical costs continue to escalate nationwide, outstripping wage loss benefits paid.
- Cyber risks continue to be the bane of businesses at home and abroad; however, hackers increasingly target small-to-medium sized businesses because they seem to provide the path of least resistance to hackers.
- Commercial insurance prices increased by six percent in the second quarter of 2013, the 10th consecutive quarter of price increases, according to a recent survey conducted by Towers Watson. Now is the time to bulletproof your risk management practices and consider increasing your deductibles or taking higher self-insured retentions.
This does it for another edition of Cavalcade of Risk.