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California insurer won’t pay for breast cancer drug

(Reuters) – Health insurer Blue Shield of California has decided not to pay for Roche Holding’s drug Avastin to treat breast cancer after health advisers said it was not safe or clinically beneficial. Blue Shield of California, an insure with around 3.3 million members, said in a notice posted on…

Agent Orange victim loses health coverage over 2-cent shortfall

A Vietnam veteran suffering from a bone cancer blamed on exposure to Agent Orange was dropped from his health insurance for a two-cent shortfall on a premium payment, only to have the insurance reinstated when the story became public. Ronald Flanagan of Thornton, Colorado, said he never received a warning…

Study: A full third of US adults go without needed healthcare

Americans are the most likely to go without health care because of the cost and to have trouble paying medical bills even when insured, a survey of 11 wealthy countries found Thursday. “The US stands out for the most negative insurance-related experiences,” the New York-based Commonwealth Fund, the private foundation…

Study: Individual health insurance premiums skyrocketing

People who buy their own health insurance have been hit lately with premium hikes that far exceed increases in premiums for employer-sponsored coverage, according to a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The nonprofit foundation, which is separate from health insurer Kaiser Permanente, said recent premium hikes requested by…

UnitedHealth CEO made $102 million in 2009, including options

Health insurer UnitedHealth Group overcame a sluggish economy last year to manage 28 percent profit growth and rewarded CEO Stephen Hemsley by more than doubling his total compensation. An Associated Press analysis found that the 57-year-old executive received 2009 total compensation valued at $8.9 million from the Minnetonka, Minn., company,…

Largest US health insurer’s profits rise 30 percent

As if to mock the Democrats’ loss of Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat and the subsequent and rapid unraveling of a healthcare bill that seemed determined to curb the excesses of the US health insurance industry, the largest US health insurer announced Thursday morning that its fourth quarter profits had climbed…

Health insurers secretly funded $10-$20 million in attack ads

Seen one of those TV ads attacking healthcare reform? Chances are, it may have been paid for by a health insurance company funneling money through the US Chamber of Commerce — who then funneled it to one of two front groups it created specifically aimed at derailing or watering down…

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