Nationwide Insurance is On Your Side - Unless a Katrina Victim

The Homepage of Nationwide Insurance

At Nationwide, we're working hard every day to meet the insurance and financial needs of our customers, at every stage of life. Whatever happens.

You can count on it. With more than $157 billion in statutory assets, Nationwide is one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world.

We offer a full range of products and services for your home, your car, your family, and your financial security. We're easy to reach no matter where you are, day or night, from any one of the 50 states and Washington D.C. to Europe and Latin America.

Simply put - Nationwide is On Your Side

Unless you are victim of Hurricane Katrina.

Despite the broadly smiling African-American man on their website's homepage, Nationwide is doing nothing close to making hundreds of the many African-American Katrina victims smile.

The insurance company is systematically denying homeowner insurance claims by Katrina disaster victims. The company claims that its home insurance policy only covers damage from wind and not from water.  

There's more...

The Check is Not in the Mail: Watching Your Medical Costs Go Up

Crossposted from DMI Blog.

Anybody who missed it should read the May 25, 2006 N.Y. Times Article "The Check is Not in the Mail." The article describes the common practice of delay and foot-dragging by medical insurance providers in the payment of the bills doctors send them. The article quotes the Chief Executive of the California Medical Association as stating that this

"Tardiness or refusal to pay what doctors consider legitimate medical claims may add as much as 15-20% in overhead costs for physicians, forcing them to pursue those claims or pass along the costs to other patients."

The next time you hear somebody talking at a dinner party about how medical malpractice lawsuits drive up the cost of medicine and insurance premiums, be sure to ask them how much they think delay of payment by medical insurers to doctors drives up costs.

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The Option of Indefinite Denial: NYS Legis. Considers Auto Insurance Nightmare

Have you ever been in an accident? Have you ever had to go through the process of filing a claim with your auto insurance company? For any who have had their claims challenged they know that the deck is stacked against them. Insurance companies may require that claimants fill out additional forms, submit to "independent" medical examinations, and/or report to make statements under oath. Given the procedural hurdles a claimant must go through and the insurance company's ability to deny and then endlessly litigate claims, the average New York resident faces an uphill battle.

State Assemblyman Heastie has recently proposed a bill (A.8267) that would make life even easier for auto insurance companies (note that although the most recent legislative session ended the bill will likley be re-submitted as is). The bill proposes to allow insurance companies to disregard the current 30 day time limit they have to either pay or deny claims and extend it indefinitely with the caveat that the insurance company pay 2% interest a month on the claim and pay reasonable attorneys' fees once the claim is ultimately found to be valid. This measure applies across the board to all claimants that the insurance company decides to investigate for fraud. In theory, auto insurance companies would be able to indefinitely withhold benefits from all claimants in New York as long as they eventually paid 2% interest and reasonable attorneys' fees.

This law would mean that a person with a valid auto insurance claim who is incorrectly flagged and investigated as having filed a fraudulent claim may receive no payments for an indefinite period of time during which they receive nothing for their medical costs and lost wages.

Not only is this rule unfair in that it makes people wait needlessly for the valid claim that they are owed after paying their insurance premiums for years, it also assumes that a claimant can actually pay out of pocket lawyers' fees in the first place (plus their medical bills if they are uninsured), let alone that they can wait to be reimbursed for them at some unknown point in the future. This framework also creates an ironic situation in which claimants must continue to pay their premiums while their insurance company withholds the very benefits of their insurance policy from them.

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Frist has a plan for Medicare...

Not that I think he'll be the 08 GOP candidate. But his idea sounds too tempting for his winning rival to go all Not Invented Here.

According to Brownstein,

Frist wants to allow private insurers to compete more directly with the government in providing healthcare to seniors.

Brownstein offers fibrillating readers the assurance that

Washington isn't likely to provide private insurance companies a larger role in Medicare until they prove they can smooth out their administration of the new prescription drug benefit.


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Weekly Diaspora: Hitting Immigrant Kids Where It Hurts





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