Non-profit health insurer Blue Shield is now cutting premiums by 2.5% after the company was compelled under a new state law to report its CEO’s gold-plated annual salary of $4.6 million:
The nonprofit insurer, with about 10% of the California market, said the rate reduction would be applied to bills in October, resulting in $167 million in savings for nearly 2 million customers.
Blue Shield also has a reserve of more than $3.5 billion! This is a non-profit? You’d think the company could do better than a measly 2.5% reduction. The insurer claims it wasn’t the public brow beating it got from consumer groups and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones that prompted the rate cuts. Bruce Bodaken, the aforementioned pampered executive, says the company planned the cuts anyway to make its product more affordable. Uh-huh.
“It’s going to take a long time to get to universal coverage and to affordability. It is clear that even with health reform, we all need to do more.”
Many more Californians must get politically active for Bodaken to be wrong on his first point, and we will get affordable, universal coverage sooner rather than later. But, he’s definitely right on the last point. We do need to do more with health reform. And that is establishing a public healthcare system that won’t have a Blue Shield around hoarding $3.5 billion and showering its management with more money than most of its customers will make in a lifetime.