Wendell Potter, a former health insurance company public relations manager who is now a harsh critic of health insurers, says he has questions about a health insurer’s promise to limit the amount of net income it keeps.
Potter, an analyst at the Center for Public Integrity, has written a commentary about a new, voluntary move by Blue Shield of California, San Francisco, to send rebates to customers if net income exceeds 2% of revenue.
California Blue Shield Bruce Bodaken announced the voluntary 2% profit cap Tuesday in San Francisco.
Bodaken said applying the cap to 2010 results will result in the company paying about $180 million to customers, provider groups and nonprofit groups.
“While I’m happy for the policyholders who might get a few bucks back from their insurer, the timing of the Blue Shield campaign is, to me at least, a tad suspicious,” Potter says in his commentary.
Potter notes that the California Legislature is considering a bill that would give the insurance commissioner the authority to reject proposed health insurance rate increases that are found to be unreasonable.