Time and John Alden Proposed 2013 Rate Increase and Public Hearing

The Assurant Health Companies, Time Insurance Company and John Alden Life Insurance Company, have requested an increase of base premium rates of 9%.  The requested increase is subject to 45 advance consumer notice and a public hearing in order to allow policy holders and interested parties an opportunity to comment on the proposed increase before the Commissioner decision is made on the requested increase.  Comments may be submitted to the Consumer Advocate directly online below.  Comments may also be emailed to ConsumerAdvocate@iowa.gov or mailed to 330 Maple Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319.  Faxed comments may be sent to 515-281-3059.

Additional documents regarding the proposed request:

2013_01_01 IA_ TIC HHS part 1 – RateSummaryTemplate_2012_09_11

2013_01_01 IA_ TIC Part II Written

Explanation of the Rate Increases_2012_09_12

1-1-13 Assurant Time_John Alden – Division Actuarial Review

Assurant 2013 Independant Actuarial Reviews

2013 Assurant Hearing Public Testimony and Comments Report

Assurant 2013 Public Hearing Transcript

Decision for Assurant 2013 Rate Increase Request

The Commissioner of Insurance will be presiding over a public hearing on the proposed rate increase on Oct. 27, 2012.  The hearing will be held simultaneously by ICN video conferencing at the following sites:

Mercy College of Health Sciences 928 6th Avenue   Des Moines
North Iowa Area Community College 500 College Dr   Mason City
Kirkwood Community College 123 Jones Hall, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW   Cedar Rapids
Spencer Public Library 21 E 3rd St   Spencer
Council Bluffs Public Library 400 Willow Ave   Council Bluffs
Sioux City Public Library 529 Pierce St   Sioux City

17 Responses to “Time and John Alden Proposed 2013 Rate Increase and Public Hearing”

  1. Kevn & Kathy Zinn Says:


  2. Ron Johnson Says:

    I am emailing you today to let you know that I am opposed to the proposed base premium rate increase I was informed of today via a letter from Assurant Health.

    I work in the family entertainment industry and the current economy has hurt my business terribly. My local work is down nearly 65% this year compared to last. I simply cannot afford any more increases in my health insurance rates.

    My health insurance rates have been going up horribly in recent years. I have more than doubled my deductible to try to be able to still afford health insurance. I am healthy and have really only used my insurance for the standard physical…nothing more….yet my rates increase horribly.

    I figure if something does not change I may not be able to afford health insurance at all in just the next 3 or 4 years. This proposed base premium rate increase…if allowed…will bump that up by a year perhaps.

    There is so much waste in the medical and insurance industries. Please do not let that waste destroy my financial future…and my health.

    Ron Johnson

  3. Denise Rec Says:

    Dear Consumer Advocate of the Iowa Insurance Division,

    My husband and I have been insured through Assurant Health since 2007. We are both self employed, and neither of our businesses qualify for group rates. We are over 50 and realize the precarious situation we are in regarding health insurance. We have a $10,000.00 deductible and have only met that deductible 2 of the 6 years we have been with this company.

    We received a letter noting Assurant Health has asked to increase its base premium rates by 9%. Their “Notice of Proposed Base Premium Rate Increase and Public Hearing” indicates that you will hear our concerns.

    The rate increases with Assurant Health have been out of control in our opinion. In 2007, we paid $296.14 per month- high but not unreasonable. In 2012, we are now paying $650.99 a month- again, may I reinforce that our deductible is $10,000.00! There is just the 2 of us on this plan. Both of us are within normal height and weight, we are active, full time employed 52 year olds. My husband is the chief of the volunteer firefighters in our community.
    I believe their rate increases have exceeded realistic cost of living needs. Their website boasts: “With approximately $US26 billion in assets at year-end 2010 and $US8 billion in annual revenue, Assurant currently has a market capitalization of about $US4.2 billion. In 2011, Assurant was ranked No. 285 on the Fortune 500 list of the largest publicly traded companies in the United States and No. 1123 on the Forbes Global 2000, a ranking of the top 2,000 companies in the world. Assurant is a component of the S&P 500 stock market index.”

    Does this sound like a company needing to bleed their clients with even higher rates?
    Yes, we are going to be looking for another insurer at the end of the year, and would have been looking sooner if some health issues had not unexpectedly met the deductible this year. Our fears are rationalized though- that the rates will increase again, and the unknown is that depending on the elections, what will happen to our self insured status? Will our health insurance rates be so high that we are forced to plead for government assistance? Will we be punished yet again for seeking necessary health care and for the 2nd time in 6 years – meet this high deductible?

    We appreciate all you can do to rein in these insurance companies with their rate increases so they can boast of their profits and Forbes ratings.

    Denise Reck
    Rock Rapids, IA

  4. Mike K Says:

    It is time the Ia. Insuance Comm. stops giving companies rate increases at will and says no to assurants proposed rate hike. I am selfemployed and DID NOT receive a 9% pay increase this year or any year for that matter. Please hold the line on this and start making these companies get more efficient and stop raising rates on a yearly basis. thank you , mike k

  5. Gary & Diane Huseman Says:

    I am writing to urge the Iowa Insurance Commissioner to deny Assurant Health’s request for a 9% increase in their base premium rates. We have been
    enduring significant rate increases every year and don’t think they are justified in asking for more. From the research I have done on the company, they seem
    to be doing quite well.

    We have been with Assurant Health for many years. They did not have to pay out any claims on our policy for 20 years until 2010. Of course, our premiums
    continued to increase as much as 25% each year. Then in 2011 and 2012 our rates increased 50% each year. That forced us to increase our deductible
    to $10,000. There is only so much we can afford to pay. Also, we do not receive any of the so-called “free” benefits of Obamacare (coverage on mammograms, etc)
    because we have a grandfathered policy and did not feel we could switch to a new policy because it would have cost even more.

    Once again, I ask you to deny this baseless request for an increase in rates. We simply cannot afford to continue to pay more and more every year when our
    income does not increase at the same rate.

    Thank you,
    Gary & Diane Huseman

  6. Michael Egbert Says:

    I just received notice of a request for a premium rate increase from my health insurance provider asking for approval from the Iowa Insurance Commissioner for a 9% raise. They claim they want to raise my monthly premium to defray the costs of doctors, hospitals, technology and so forth. That’s all fine and dandy except I have a couple of complaints about the whole process anyway.

    It seems my premiums go up on a regular basis but the money paid out on claims seems to go down. When you look at it from my point of view it is quite obvious these health providers are making quite a profit from these premiums. I pay a whole lot more money in than my provider ever pays out, for starters, why is it so confusing in their explanations of what sort of services is covered and how much they’ll pay and what not? Why can’t these so called explanations be written in plain English so that even an idiot like ME can understand them? For the life of me I cannot figure out how they determine what they’ll pay for and how much they will pay. I will pay all this money in and yet on claims what is paid out amounts to pennies on the dollar. It feels like I am actually financing some executive’s ridiculous expense account for some junket or helping them to make the monthly mortgage payment on some mansion or pay for their expensive automobile.

    My provider has justified THEIR reasoning for this rate increase request by breaking it down into 3 categories to me:

    1. Increase use of benefits – huh? My wife sees her doctor on average 3 times a year for blood tests and checkups (she has been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis). They want an increase of 1.3% because of this.
    2. Increase in medical costs – ok, I concede, I can see where this might be legitimate. They want 3.4% more for this.
    3. Increase in other factors – not only “huh?” but DOUBLE huh? Other factors? What is this? Whatever it is they want an extra 4.3% for it. They will have to be much more specific about “other factors” if they want me to swallow this malarkey.

    See why I have a problem with this?

    Michael Egbert
    Lamoni Iowa

  7. Corby Boswell Says:

    Dear Advocate,
    I am writing due to the exorbinate rate we pay for insurance. It costs my husband and I $7300 every three monts for health insurance. We are insured through Fortis Assurant Health. We have a $5000 deductible on top of that. Our 24 year old son on the policy, also. His part is pennies compared to ours. I had breast cancer in 2005. I have been cancer free for 7 years. We feel like we are being charged so much as a result of that cancer. If my husband didn’t own his own business and farm we would not be able to afford this. At this rate of increase every year we will not be able to afford it for long. It rose around $2000 from last year. We are stuck between a rock and a hard place as no other company will take me. Anyone I talk to can’t believe how much we have to pay. No one I know pays near this much. It is no wonder so many people are not insured. Our insurance rates are more than some individuals earn in a year. If, as they say, it’s due to the rising cost of health care, then start cracking down on doctors and the institutions that charge outrageous fees. Obama care will only make this problem more of a problem for the American consumer.

    Thank you,
    Corby Boswell

  8. iainsuranceca Says:

    Dear Consumer Advocate,

    I am writing in regard to a notice that I received from Assurant Health. In this notice (received in September 2012), Assurant Health informed me that they are seeking a Base Premium Rate Increase of 9%. This increase is to take effect on my next scheduled renewal date in 2013, and is to be in addition to Assurant adding any “individual rating factors”.

    I am absolutely OPPOSED to Assurant being granted the right to this increase. I have diligently paid my premiums to Assurant ever since the inception of my family health insurance coverage back in 2004. Assurant has never had to pay even a single Health Insurance Claim from my family in all of that time. Even so, I have received double-digit premium increases, by percentage, every single year that my policy has come up for renewal. These increases have ranged from being 3 to 6 times the rate of inflation in those same years.

    It is time that the cost of inefficiencies in our health care system stop being passed on to the consumer.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Michael T. Feller
    Des Moines, IA

  9. Lori Ostercamp Says:

    Dear Consumer Advocate,
    Please do NOT allow Assurant Health to raise it’s base premium rate. Plain and simple: we and many other people will not be able to afford to carry insurance which will in turn add to the “cost shifting” problem. My husband farms 320 acres and is self employed as a Auto Tech. He worked 20 years for a local dealership and we were covered on their group policy. We have one Daughter who is 9 yrs. old. I have worked part time for 17 years in a flower shop and make $10.00/ hr. We pay almost $12,000 a year in premiums. Even though we are healthy and live a healthy lifestyle ( exercise, no smoking etc. ) we have paid $855 out of pocket already this year. The only benefit we have received is the “discount” the company negotiates with providers. I have not even had a physical in about 5 years. We have had this insurance for several years, the premium keeps going up and we have never come close to our $3000
    deductible. We are “insurance poor” with all the farm/ business/ auto/home and health premiums we pay and it feels like we are throwing our money away on “What if’s ” and “just in cases”. We are tired of footing the bill for people who don’t want to work and the governments underfunding of Medicaid and Medicare.
    Thank you, Lori Ostercamp

  10. Colleen Oxley Says:

    I received notice that Assurant Health has asked to increase its base premium rate by 9%. When is it going to come to the point that insurance companies have enough?

    Last year my husband went on Medicare, and now my insurance premium has increased by almost the amount that was his premium on our combined policy. I am now paying almost as much for myself as we were paying for both of us. Now the company wants another 9% base increase? I already have a high deductible and never meet it, so I pay for all of my medical expenses out of my pocket.

    We understand that medical costs are constantly on the increase; however, those of us who try to carry health insurance to cover those costs should not have to pay for those that don’t.

    Please consider not allowing the 9% increase in the base premium rate.

    Colleen Oxley

  11. Gerry Hamm Says:

    The thing I have about it is that they want to raise the insurance base rate. In the last six years, my insurance has gone from $157 to over $400 a month. I don’t understand how they can do that.

    Now, due to an accident — I’m worried about going some place else, because they could put a rider on my injury.

    I don’t understand how they can continue to raise their rates the way the used to. They have gone up four or five quarters in a row without the notice.

    I think about the public and that the public needs protection.

    I don’t agree with them raising rates. I wish I could find out why it was being raised so much all along without prior notice.

    They want everyone to have health insurance, but people can’t afford it.

  12. Katherine Hannigan Says:

    Dear Consumer Advocate–

    I am self-employed, and my health insurance is with Assurant Health.

    This year, I will pay almost $3000.00 for my premium. My deductible is $5000.00. I will earn about $50,0000 this year (next year will probably be considerably less; there are years that I’ve earned more). My premium, then, is over 6% of my income, pre-tax. It is my single highest bill. It is more than I pay for gas, electric, water, car insurance, and house insurance combined.

    I am 50 years old and very healthy. I don’t smoke or drink alcohol. I exercise daily. I have never been diagnosed with cancer or any other chronic or life-threatening illness. Only once since joining Assurant Health have I met my deductible, when it was less than half what it is now, and then only because of regular checkups and a test scheduled because of family history. Still, my payments go up significantly every year, and I am essentially paying not only my premium but every health expense I have. It seems ridiculous to ask, then, if I support even further rate increases. I’m concerned about paying those that already exist.

    These are tight times for most of us. It’s a poor time to ask for rate increases. If the inquiry goes forward, however, I hope that everything is investigated, including profits and executive compensation. Frankly, I’d like a decrease in my rates.


    Katherine Hannigan

  13. Dee Scheib Says:

    To Whom It May Concern,

    I am writing to protest the increase in base premium rates from Assurant Health.
    We have had this insurance for many years and feel as a small business owner that they absolutely overcharge for their health care.
    For example in 2007 our premiums were $451.24 per. month for a family of 4. With a very high deductible.
    Our premiums get raised every yr. in August so our premium went up to $985.66 per. month for a family of 4. Our deductible has also increased over the course of these years. Our claims are pretty minimual.
    So in a 5 yr. period this insurance company has raised our rates over 100%.
    Our premium from August of 2011-July of 2012 was $882.39. Our new premium has increased over $100.00 a month just this yr.
    And now this company is asking for a base rate increase I think that is absolutely obsurd.
    We are 1 family of 4 currently we will be paying $11,827.92 per. yr. for premiums alone to this company. That is 1/3 of my personal salaried income.
    And that is with a 10% good health discount that we qualify every yr. for. Otherwise, our premiums would be even higher.

    So to summarize 1 family of 4 pays Assurant Health $11,827.92 per. yr. with very few. claims and a extremely high deductible that can never be met. I think $100.00+ per. month premium that we just received in August should more than cover the rising cost of medical services.

    I strongly hope that you will turn down this base rate increase by Assurant Health. They are already taking full advantage of their policy holders.
    Thank you for your time and I am more than willing to provide any documentation that you may need to validate this.

    Dee Scheib

    1 family of 4 who strongly disagrees with this increase.

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  15. Anonymous Says:

    I’m disappointing and angry about the rate increase. Since I have gotten my insurance, it has increased over twice of what it was when I bought it. I have never used it. I have it for emergencies, I’m a very healthy person I don’t use my insurance. I can’t understand The explanation given for rate increase is rising health care costs and I don’t know what that means. I find it hard to believe that healthcare costs are rising so fast and so quickly and so much that they have to increase my rates so often. I am looking around for another insurance company. I’m shopping around now, if this rate increase goes up. If this rate increase occurs I don’t want to be with this company anymore. I appreciate the Commissioner giving us a voice because usually we don’t have that opportunity.

  16. Brenda Hamilton Says:

    Strongly opposed to any increase. Has a high deductible plan. Have seen 20% increases each year for last eight years, even though only used it one year. Have Healthy Discount. Was $660 last year and proposed to go to $880 next year if increase goes through. Would have been $950 except for Healthy Discount.

  17. Collen Smith Says:

    I am not in favor of this rate increase. I’m not in favor of the hearing date because I’m farmer and I’m self employed I had to work. Its discrimination that I am being charged a higher rate when group insurance is not. I should not have to pay for this rate increase.

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