Center wins first Pulitzer!

Black lung investigation honored

Get more award-winning investigations:

What's the point, WellPoint?

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: insurer's talk of rate increases may boomerang.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… least bit interested in making predictions. Humana declined to comment. An Aetna spokeswoman was quoted as saying only that, “It’s too early to say.” …"

Dizzying array of options in Obamacare can lead to expensive mistakes

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Health insurers offer a wide range of plans on exchanges, customers should pay attention to the details.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… his year at $6,350. And her Kaiser plan is still saving her money over the Aetna plan she had last year. Donna is just as much an advocate for a single-pa …"

Retailers band together to fight health reform law

By Erin Quinn

Companies, trade groups band together to lobby on issues of common interest.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… among those named in E-Flex’s reports to Congress, as are health insurer Aetna, the Food Marketing Institute and the National Restaurant Association. …"

GOP governors group dwarfs Democrats in fundraising

By Ben Wieder and John Dunbar

This year features 36 governors' races; Republicans enter with a big fundraising advantage over Democrats.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… esearchers and Manufacturers of America, donated $325,000. Health insurer Aetna gave $300,000 and pharmaceutical giant Pfizer gave $275,650. Other top don …"

Fighting over Aetna's disclosure

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: good government group alleges insurer isn't coming clean on political spending.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… ting to see if Aetna can convince the court of that.  …"

"… ovide the information state insurance departments would need before giving Aetna the approval to reinstate the cancelled policies. “If we were to go to …"

"… s. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in New York on behalf of an Aetna shareholder, CREW accuses the company of violating the Securities Exchange …"

"… false and misleading proxy statements to shareholders. CREW alleges that Aetna tried to hide nearly $8 million in contributions to the American Action Ne …"

Beginning of the end for major health insurers

By Wendell Potter

Kickoff of new law will expose irrelevance of big insurers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… ur Health newsletter. ------------------------- If you’re wondering why Aetna, Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealth Group, four of the biggest for-profits, ar …"

"… lains why we are seeing some of their desperation tactics. Like the letter Aetna is sending to some of its policyholders encouraging them to renew early th …"

"… ts, and many new insurance plans will leave many people with questions,” Aetna’s letter reads. “You can do something right now that could help you sa …"

"… iums for next year. It’s a one-time opportunity available right now.” Aetna executives know, of course, that most Americans are not yet aware that the …"

Unions chafing at Obamacare provisions

By Wendell Potter

Labor leaders say big business was mollified at their expense.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… y months of the Obama administration were corporate executives like former Aetna CEO Ron Williams and the chief lobbyists of the American Hospital Associat …"

The fiction of Obamacare 'rate shock'

By Wendell Potter

Scare tactics aside, Obamacare rates will be lower for many.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… l the rage several months ago, like this one from Forbes last December: “Aetna CEO (Mark) Bertolini: Get ready for ‘Rate Shock’ as Some Insurance Pre …"

"… icies on the marketplaces, not what they actually would be able to charge. Aetna, for example, might have liked to be able to charge $500 a month for a cer …"

OPINION: a brave new world for health insurance

By Wendell Potter

ObamaCare's exchanges are attracting innovators, not old-line companies.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… insurance marketplaces, which will go online October 1, as opportunities. Aetna, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare have all said they will be participating in on …"

"… t believe me? Well just look at history. The big five “insurers” — Aetna, Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealth and WellPoint — have all changed radically …"

"… oined Cigna in 1993, it was a big multi-line insurance corporation, as was Aetna. Both had big property and casualty and financial services divisions. Unde …"

"… rers at the time were Prudential, which sold its health care operations to Aetna in 1999, and Travelers and MetLife, whose health care businesses are now p …"

OPINION: insurance tricks to avoid ObamaCare's consumer protections

By Wendell Potter

Firms pushing early renewals to avoid ObamaCare protections

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… rance companies.    I first heard about this several weeks ago. Aetna had been encouraging some of its small business customers —whose policie …"

"… instead of January. By taking advantage of this one-time-only offer, those Aetna customers will be able to delay complying with the law—and providing new …"

"… it. I’ve heard from consumer advocates that many insurers are following Aetna’s lead. They’re sending letters to customers—at least to the ones wi …"

OPINION: putting big health insurers in their place

By Wendell Potter

New exchanges are better off without the big insurers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… And we won’t miss those companies that refuse to take part. Believe me. …"

"… urer by the end of the year. State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said Aetna’s decision was disappointing because it will reduce competition, but Aet …"

"… tna’s decision was disappointing because it will reduce competition, but Aetna — the third largest insurer nationally — has never been able to muster …"

"… rol about 90 percent of the Golden State’s individual insurance market. Aetna didn’t make a big effort to increase its share of that market because, l …"

Lobbying firm PACs start 2013 slow

By Dave Levinthal

Few raising or spending big money early in 2013 — if at all.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Raytheon":

"… azeera America, Comcast, drugmaker Merck, the PGA Tour, defense contractor Raytheon and ZTE USA, the American subsidiary of a Chinese telecom company that has …"

OPINION: a cynical search for loopholes

By Wendell Potter

Insurers find ways to avoid 'essential benefits'.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… dequate coverage quite profitable. Some of the biggest insurers, including Aetna, Cigna and UnitedHealthgroup, bought companies several years ago that spec …"

OPINION: Vermont law illuminates claims statistics

By Wendell Potter

Vermont law illuminates disparities among health insurers

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… of Managed Care showed that Cigna’s claim denial rate was 39.6 percent. Aetna’s denial rate, by contrast, was 5.9 percent.  The Vermont disclosu …"

OPINION: 'limited benefit' plans are no real bargain

By Wendell Potter

Plans with modest premiums provide no real coverage

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… ot enough to keep him out of bankruptcy court. …"

"… eholders and Wall Street financial analysts in New York last December. If Aetna does, in fact, hike premiums by more than 100 percent for some of its cust …"

"… t money will go to covering his shockingly lucrative paycheck. While many Aetna employees were lucky to get two percent raises last year, Bertolini’s co …"

"… Bertolini’s compensation nearly quadrupled. That’s right, quadrupled. Aetna disclosed in a filings last week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Com …"

OPINION: taking advantage of Medicare Advantage

By Wendell Potter

Feds have been overpaying for Medicare Advantage.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… than 100,000 seniors, after the government adjusted payments to insurers. Aetna and a number of others insurers dumped thousands more. Shareholders were n …"

Lobbyist PACs hurting for cash following election

By Dave Levinthal

Political cash machines of many top government affairs shops see a slow start to 2014 election cycle.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Raytheon":

"… strong Foundation, National Association of Broadcasters, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Visa and Wal-Mart, according to filings with the U.S. Senate. Meanw …"

RGA, DGA reap riches from corporate donors

By Michael Beckel

RGA, DGA reap riches from corporate donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… nnsylvania, gave $250,000 to the RGA, as did health insurance company Aetna. Meanwhile, the Florida Power and Light and Comcast each donated&nbs …"

"… ve made six-figure contributions to the DGA since late November: Aetna-subsidiary Schaller Anderson, which gave $250,000; computer technology com …"

OPINION: insurance scare tactics

By Wendell Potter

Insurers are warning of 'premium shock' in hopes of removing protections from ObamaCare

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… ductibles and caps on covered benefits.  Big insurance companies like Aetna and Cigna are not at all happy about that because they make millions selli …"

"… ium shock.At a meeting with Wall Street financial analysts a few days ago, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini used that term in his warning that in some cases, premi …"

"… the government to help them buy decent coverage.Some background: In 2005, Aetna paid $250 million for Strategic Resources Co., a company that specializes …"

"… Co., a company that specializes in limited benefit plans. I found one such Aetna plan online that pays no more than $10,000 a year for inpatient hospital c …"

'Fiscal cliff' ads target candidates in 2014

By Rachael Marcus

Rove-affiliated nonprofit runs 'fiscal cliff' ads targeting vulnerable Senate Democrats.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… ebsite, CEOs from Caesars Entertainment Corp., Motorola Solutions Inc. and Aetna, among others, argue for “responsible spending,” “fixing the debt si …"

Mystery firm is election's top corporate donor at $5.3 million

By Michael Beckel and Reity O'Brien

Supreme Court decision paves way for $75 million in corporate donations to super PACs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… its part, the Chamber — which collects dues from companies such as Aetna, Chevron, Dow Chemical and Microsoft — has reported spending more than $ …"

Nonprofits, shell corporations help shield identity of ad backers

By Russ Choma

Underwriters of attack ads can easily avoid being named.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… s to the political organizations from unidentified donors in this election.Aetna’s oopsOccasionally, the veil is lifted on the secrecy of these groups, s …"

"… ed on the secrecy of these groups, sometimes inadvertently.Insurance giant Aetna accidentally disclosed to insurance regulators earlier this year that in 2 …"

OPINION: Who wins with Medicare Advantage?

By Wendell Potter

Medicare Advantage plans are profit centers for private insurance companies because of government incentives to participate.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… the past several years, the largest insurers — Unitedhealth, WellPoint, Aetna, Cigna and Humana — have reported record profits, even during the quarte …"

"… .The first two insurers to report earnings this month — Unitedhealth and Aetna—had combined profits during the third quarter (July, August and Septembe …"

Barack Obama, Mitt Romney

OPINION: Romney's phony answers to tough health care questions

By Wendell Potter

Republicans tout heath insurance sold across state lines, but it doesn't help

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… where it was based, but has never been able to compete effectively against Aetna and Blue Cross, the dominant players in Philly.As the Georgetown researche …"

Health insurance PACs have love-hate relationship with health care reform

By Reity O'Brien

Health insurance PACs gave generously to reform opponents while supporting the Obama plan.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… cessful implementation.”Likewise, Ron Williams, then chairman and CEO of Aetna, the country’s fifth-largest health insurance company, also spoke favora …"

"… ing the quality and value of care people receive.”But Williams, who left Aetna in April 2011, has since changed his mind. This past June, Williams penned …"

"… rst of 33 repeal efforts that have reached the House floor.That same year, Aetna, Humana, UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint — which together control 28 pe …"

"… ’s telephone or email inquiries requesting comment. Representatives from Aetna, Amerigroup, Cigna and Humana declined to comment for this story.Ethan Rom …"

OPINION: GOP Medicare plan means older Americans will pay more

By Wendell Potter

Paul Ryan's medicare plan shifts more costs to older Americans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… of Medicare beneficiaries was $22,800 in 2006.By contrast, in 2005, former Aetna CEO John Rowe, who never missed many opportunities to talk about the need …"

"… red a darling of Wall Street during most of his time as a top executive at Aetna. Noting that it was Williams who led Aetna’s move toward higher deductib …"

"… his time as a top executive at Aetna. Noting that it was Williams who led Aetna’s move toward higher deductibles plans to reduce its medical costs, Sanf …"

OPINION: Real-world health insurance math doesn't add up

By Wendell Potter

Grad student had insurance, but had to shame Aetna to get cancer bills covered.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… e caps? I expect the CEO is a nice guy... but his company policies suck.” …"

"… f its own stock instead of paying more claims. But a few days before that, Aetna’s CEO got a real-world understanding of just how inadequate some of the …"

"… nadequate policies they sell, especially to students.A significant part of Aetna’s revenues come from its student health plan business. The company contr …"

"… and to use Twitter and other social media to raise money to pay the claims Aetna was denying. Tweeting as Poop Strong, Guha soon drew the attention of …"

Big business prefers GOP over Democratic super PACs

By Michael Beckel

Corporations have made big contributions to super PACs with conservative groups the biggest benefactors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… porate giving to nonprofits secretFor instance, last month, health insurer Aetna accidentally revealed that it had contributed $3.3 million last year to th …"

OPINION: Why insurers want ObamaCare's Medicaid business

By Wendell Potter

Pay no attention to GOP governors; health insurers want that new Medicaid business.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… from the big five for-profit insurance companies (UnitedHealth, WellPoint, Aetna, Cigna and Humana), you’ll see that the biggest growth in their membersh …"

OPINION: Flip-flop on health care reform casts President as modern-day Julius Caesar

By Wendell Potter

Potter: Former Aetna CEO Ron Williams renounces his earlier position on key provision of Obama's health care reform law.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… playing the Democrats all along. …"

"… ught it was a good idea, it wasn’t essential. Williams, who retired from Aetna last year, had won on both counts.The problem for the President, of course …"

Pages