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Old 06-04-2007, 03:07 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by mykidslovedogs View Post
As an aside to my post above....

Let's just assume that the average premium is $200. That's less than one complaint for every 5,000 policies sold, and out of all those complaints, only SOME of those have to do with pre-existing condition denials.
If I am interpreting the table correctly, that would be 0.78 complaint PER MONTH for every 5,000 policies sold, or about 9 complaints PER YEAR per 5,000 policies sold. Am I correct?

Also, if the average monthly premium is higher than $200, that would bring the complaint ratio PER POLICY up proportionately. So a family plan which cost $500 per month might have about 23 complaints per year per 5,000 policies.
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:13 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by FIRE'd@51 View Post
If I am interpreting the table correctly, that would be 0.78 complaint PER MONTH for every 5,000 policies sold, or about 9 complaints PER YEAR per 5,000 policies sold. Am I correct?

Also, if the average monthly premium is higher than $200, that would bring the complaint ratio PER POLICY up proportionately. So a family plan which cost $500 per month might have about 23 complaints per year per 5,000 policies.
MKLD uses ".78 complaints per $1,000,000 worth of business" and those figures appear to include all subscribers including those who did not file a claim for the year. If you look at complaints among those who filed a claim (not just "all subscribers") you'll get a much better picture of how likely you are to run into trouble when you need them. Any company will have 0 complaints among subscribers who don't file a claim.

We wouldn't want to play fast and loose with the figures to skew our conclusions. Assurant sounds like a bad player in the industry. I wouldn't call them decent and would appreciate knowing their history of bad behavior when making my choice.
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:17 PM   #23
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MKLD uses ".78 complaints per $1,000,000 worth of business" and those figures appear to include all subscribers including those who did not file a claim for the year. If you look at complaints among those who filed a claim (not just "all subscribers") you'll get a much better picture of how likely you are to run into trouble when you need them. Any company will have 0 complaints among subscribers who don't file a claim.
I'm not sure that that kind of data is available. Complaint ratios probably also include non-claim related complaints, such as billing issues, but as far as I know, complaint ratio tables are the most readily available data for use as an apples to apples comparison among the various carriers.
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:21 PM   #24
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If I am interpreting the table correctly, that would be 0.78 complaint PER MONTH for every 5,000 policies sold, or about 9 complaints PER YEAR per 5,000 policies sold. Am I correct?

Also, if the average monthly premium is higher than $200, that would bring the complaint ratio PER POLICY up proportionately. So a family plan which cost $500 per month might have about 23 complaints per year per 5,000 policies.
Possibly - I was just trying to help put things in perspective. Since Assurant Health is probably THE nation's largest and well-known suppliers of individual health insurance next to BCBS, It doesn't really surprise me that their complaint ratios are higher than the national average.

Here's what the Colorado DORA complaint table explanation says:

"In the tables below, a complaint ratio of 4.40, for example, means the company had approximately 4.40 complaints per $1 million worth of business. Total complaint numbers are also listed, together with premium volume and market share."
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:27 PM   #25
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as far as I know, complaint ratio tables are the most readily available data for use as an apples to apples comparison among the various carriers.
Fine. Then use them for a company-to-company comparison, not to describe how unlikely a subscriber is to have a problem ("Let's just assume that the average premium is $200. That's less than one complaint for every 5,000 policies sold").

Your arguments seem to get in deeper and deeper trouble the more you attempt to apply grab-and-run numeric data to the issue. These numbers are tricky, not to be tossed around lightly.

So, "apples to apples," how decent would you say Assurant is? And if it falls well below the industry norm, what ethical standard does a good insurance agent follow to advise their clients of outlier companies?
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:34 PM   #26
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Besides, if they're a "disaster" or "high deductible" type insurer, chances are good that they have a much lower rate of claims filed, and hence chances for problems, than a 'regular' insurer.
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:37 PM   #27
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Fine. Then use them for a company-to-
And apples to apples, how decent would you say Assurant is? And if it falls well below the industry standard, characterizing the company as decent wouldn't serve your clients well.
In my experience, I haven't had ANY serious claim issues yet with Assurant yet, and I've been in the business for 10 years....On the other hand, I've seen them payout thousands. So, I'm just trying to put things in perspective, that's all.

The "grab and run" data that I linked is the same data that the news articles were using to prove their point....but when you look at the tables, you can see that they (Assurant)really aren't that much better or worse than many other carriers.

What I'm trying to get across here is that, if you happen to be one of the millions of people who have Assurant Health, you really probably don't need to be overly concerned that the service you would get from any other carrier would necessarily be that much better or worse.
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:42 PM   #28
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In my experience, I haven't had ANY serious claim issues yet with Assurant yet, and I've been in the business for 10 years.

I know a guy that used to run across the highway with a bag over his head.

Nothing bad ever happened to him.

I dont think i'd recommend the practice though...
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:19 AM   #29
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In my experience, I haven't had ANY serious claim issues yet with Assurant yet, and I've been in the business for 10 years....On the other hand, I've seen them payout thousands. So, I'm just trying to put things in perspective, that's all.
Is there an objective rating system on the web I can look at to see who has the most complaints or highest customer satisfaction regarding health care insurance companies?
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:44 AM   #30
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Is there an objective rating system on the web I can look at to see who has the most complaints or highest customer satisfaction regarding health care insurance companies?
Mike, I'm not aware any ratings other than on a state by state basis. This website Consumer Complaint Information shows the number of complaints compared to the number of policies written by each health insurer in Texas.

For 2006 the individual health carriers with the lowest ratio of complaints were:

Golden Rule: 0.017%
BC/BS: 0.038%
United Healthcare: 0.044%

Compare those to Celtic Insurance: 1.079%

Note: Assurant Health is no longer licensed to offer health insurance in Texas, although they were back when they were known as Fortis. Not sure if this means anything regarding their performance, but I do recall a friend who had health coverage with them and was very unhappy with the service he received.
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:42 AM   #31
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Mike -

REWahoo is right. The only comparison information that I have found available can usually be found on a state-by-state basis on that state's division of insurance website, and what you want to look for is the Complaint Ratio tables. These tables show you how many complaints per "x" number of policies sold or per "x" dollars worth of premium sold.

However, Rich-In-Tampa feels that these tables are no good for assessing how good or bad a carrier is. He says we need to weed out people who did not file claims from the ratio tables in order to get a better picture. While I agree that it would be nice to have that kind of data, I don't think that kind of data is collected, so the best information available for consumers to use is going to be complaint ratio tables.

Personally, I wouldn't use heavily biased news articles as the sole source of information in your decision-making process. Any investigative reporter could find hundreds of examples of poor service and incorrect or unfair claims processing with any number of different carriers. Assurant Health is in the spotlight, IMO, because they are probably THE largest supplier of individual full coverage and major medical individual health insurance in the industry next to BCBS. Granted, they have a higher complaint ratio than the national average, and that's not a good thing, but there are quite a few other carriers out there who have two or three times the complaints that Assurant has, and their names aren't even mentioned!

Another note: At least right now, in my State, I have stayed away from selling Assurant health (unless someone is really in need of their huge nationwide network) for a few reasons:

1.) They have trouble keeping their renewal rates in line with new business, so price inflation is becoming a problem with them, especially for people who have held their policies for many years.
2.) Very few people qualify for their preferred rates, so each time I get one through underwriting, it always seems like they get a 10 or 20% bump above the quoted rates. Seems like I can get better underwriting outcomes from Humana, Aetna and Blue Cross, so, I've been leaning towards them instead of Assurant.
3.) They tend to exclude pre-existing conditions from coverage as part of their initial underwriting guidelines instead of just rating up slightly and just covering the pre-existing condition. Instead of excluding, Blue Cross takes a rate-up but still covers pre-existing conditions, and I like that practice better. It is legal for carriers to underwrite either way in Colorado, but since the competition, IMO, has better underwriting outcomes, I like to use them over Assurant.

So, there you have it. I still think Assurant Health is a decent carrier, and I would not have a problem selling the product if I felt it best met my client's needs. Whenever I have called them for service, I have had very good support. I've had to call them a few times on minor claims issues, and I've always had very good service in resolving the issues.
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Old 06-05-2007, 11:57 AM   #32
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Another note: At least right now, in my State, I have stayed away from selling Assurant health (unless someone is really in need of their huge nationwide network)
Seems to me that BCBS would be the best choice if that was a primary
concern, no?
TJ
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:35 PM   #33
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Seems to me that BCBS would be the best choice if that was a primary
concern, no?
TJ
I guess it really depends on the situation. BCBS has terrible portability. If someone thinks they might move from state to state a lot, then Assurant might actually be a better plan.
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