Americans United for Change Hits Humana

Last night, Humana CEO Mike McCallister addressed Greater Louisville Inc’s annual dinner. So Americans United for Change took that as an opportunity to hit hard.

From a release yesterday:

Tom McMahon, Acting Executive Director, Americans United for Change: “Humana’s profits soared by a staggering 61 percent last year, and CEO Mike McCallister was compensated millions. But Kentucky families insured by Humana and are struggling to keep up with rising health care costs deserve a straight answer from McCallister: how much profit is enough?   Humana has spent millions trying to kill reform so they can continue excluding coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and dropping policy holders when they get sick.  And with the news that insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross is gouging their policy holders with a staggering 39 percent hike in premiums, Congress needs to act quickly before Humana and others follow suit and start demanding massive rate increases – taking full advantage of their virtual monopoly status and shaking down working families for every dime they can get.”


  • Humana’s Profits Soared by 61 Percent in One Year to $1.04 billion. Excerpt from ‘Big Insurers Break Profit Records,:’ a new report from Health Care for America Now:  “Humana, based in Louisville, Ky., reported that 2009 profit rose to $1.04 billion, a 61 percent increase from a year earlier. Enrollment fell by 147,000 to 8.33 million. Membership in private plans declined by 220,000 while government supported plans added 73,000 members. [HCAN report ‘Big Insurers Break Profit Records,’ February 2010]
  • Humana spent $3.2 million in 2009 lobbying to kill health insurance reform Excerpt from ‘Big Insurers Break Profit Records,:’ a new report from Health Care for America Now: “Humana spent $3.2 million last year to lobby in Washington against comprehensive national health reform proposals.13 Since 2007, the insurer’s political action committee and its employees have made $747,000 in political contributions to advance the company’s interests.” [HCAN report ‘Big Insurers Break Profit Records,’ February 2010]
  • Humana CEO Michael McCallister was compensated $4,764,309 in 2008. [Fierce Healthcare, 5/14/09]


5 thoughts on “Americans United for Change Hits Humana

  1. Make Health Insurance totally illegal. They take 30 to 40% of our health dollars for their needless business. Medicare as bad as it is administrated and as much corruption there is only takes 10% of our health dollars.

  2. Posts like Metro Hack’s show how incredibly uninformed the public is about economics and finance.

    Insurance company profits, while high, are a DROP IN THE BUCKET of overall health expenses. Premiums are rising because health expenses are rising.

    For some reason, everyone likes to take aim at insurers. Humana is a model corporate citizen that employs 9000+ professionals locally. Make insurance illegal and you destroy Kentucky’s economy.

    Besides that, where is the criticism of the excessive expansion of local hospitals and doctor’s offices (do we need 1 MRI machine for every 10 people in this city or an Immediate Care Center on every corner?) or the windfall profits that malpractice lawyers take every year? What about the fact that Americans are increasingly less healthy yet have the ridiculous expectation that health care costs won’t rise??

    Here’s a brief intro to how insurance works: Premiums rise when health care costs rise. Health care costs have been growing for years. If all of the healthy people drop their individual coverage (as with Anthem in California) then the average cost of health care per member rises. What does that mean? PREMIUMS NEED TO RISE in order to pay for the services that the sicker population receives. Insurance companies don’t have the luxury of operating in the red like the Federal government does every year. (By the way, the piper will need to be paid pretty soon on all of that too. Thank you, Republicans and Democrats.)

    Disclaimer: I work in the industry so I’m entirely biased. Still, I have a brain and am better informed than 99% of the people who have an opinion on this topic.

  3. The reason they and every other health insurer is looked at in a demonic light is that most Americans want, and think they deserve the best health care in the world, but don’t think they should have to pay for it.

    Secondly, none of the profit reports being used to demonize the industry are broken down to show how much profit they made from administering health care and how much came from cutting costs, or the other diversified businesses and investments.

    Finally, the other huge reality that most people don’t understand the concept that even with a 5-10% profit margin, private insurers can still administer health benefits more cost-effectively than the government. As such, are we as taxpayers, willing to incur higher overall costs so that we can preclude a private company from making a profit. And don’t give me the CBO spin about cutting costs. Every person in this country knows in their gut, that the government has never done anything truly cheaper and more efficiently than the private sector. They are just able to bury the true costs. You can certainly debate if the government can do it better, but there is no way that you can honestly say they can do it cheaper.

    Bottom line is that the technological advancement in medicine has outpaced our ability for most Americans to pay for it. The highest rise in costs have been associated with diagnostic procedures, pharmaceuticals, and people in their last days of life. The Obama bill does absolutely nothing to reduce any of those costs.

  4. I work for Humana and if the job market were better I would not. It is an immoral company in so many ways. As an employee we ahve a High Deductible Health Plan where families have to pay as much as $6,000 up front BEFORE our Humana insurance pays a DIME.
    We need health reform and we need it yesterday. Let the chips fall where they may, but soaring profits on a falling membership should tell everyone something!

  5. Jeff,

    You may work for Humana, but you obviously have no clue how insurance works. I strongly encourage you to find another profession.

    You’ve conveniently left off 3 important facts about High Deductible Health Plans:
    1) You have the choice in deductible you choose, so it could have been as low as $1,250.
    2) Your premium in a HDHP is LOWER than in a normal health plan, so you’re paying LESS out of your paycheck.
    3) Your plan came with a Health Savings Account deposit by your plan sponsor, so no, all up front costs aren’t out of pocket.

    It’s unfortunate that you’re working for a company that you find so abhorrent. I honestly don’t understand how you justify this to yourself.

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