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Alison McKellar
Alison McKellar
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Mainers should be mad: Insurance company, Anthem Health Plans raises rates and rakes in $75 million in profits

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The looming economic recession has hit Mainers hard. style="mso-spacerun: yes">  Whether you’re an single and living on
your own, married with a family, or trying to keep your small business afloat,
for the majority of Mainers, it’s simply more difficult to afford things than
it was a few years ago.  The
Portland Press Herald reports that Maine is one of 11 states to report a href="http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=130538&ac=PHnws">drop
in median income from 2006 to 2007, leaving Mainers having to make hard choices
between things like medical care, groceries, and school supplies for their
kids. 

However, while most Mainers are tightening their belts and
cutting corners to make it through economic hard times, href="http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=179698&ac=PHedi">Anthem
Health Plans of Maine is reporting record profits. Last year, the company
made more than 75 million dollars in profits from Maine costumers alone, and
according to the Maine Bureau of Insurance, Anthem’s treasurer earns more than $1.4
million, the president makes more than $643,000, and the assistant secretary
earns more than $400,000.

href="http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=179698&ac=PHedi#begin">Rick
Burns, a Democratic state representative from Berwick, writes that, “the
bottom line is that Anthem is a for-profit company. The right to earn a profit
is derived from the taking of risk. Rather than take risk and earn a profit,
Anthem lobbies legislators to create high-risk pools that shift the risk away
from them and onto us, the Maine people.”

Insurance companies are remarkably profitable because they
have learned to minimize the amount of money they pay out for medical care and
maximize the amount they generate in rates.  Mainers may need to start playing tough with the insurance
companies to get the services they deserve.

So, the next time your insurance company tells you they’re
not required to pay for something, don’t give in right away. They can afford
it.