Top health insurance companies in the country, such as UnitedHealth Group, Anthem, and Humana, have reportedly garnered huge sums in the second quarter of 2020, unlike the previous year.
UnitedHealth Group is reported to have made $6.7 billion during the second quarter of 2020, which is almost double the amount made last year during the same period. Anthem’s profits, on the other hand, increased to $3.2 billion this year from $1.1 billion in 2019. Humana, too, was fortunate enough to see a surge in its profits bar. Last week, it reported that its earnings in 2020 rose to $1.8 billion from $980 million in 2019.
Though, because of the pandemic, people were avoiding the hospitals, and the elective surgeries were delayed too, the insurers continued collecting the premiums, which consequently increased the profits.
“Private insurance companies make money by taking in premiums and not paying for the care, said” Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor at Cuny Hunter College and a co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, explaining the cause for the increase. “It is particularly glaring and inappropriate in a pandemic,” added Woolhandler.
Last week, after the reports of the enormous profits reaped by the insurers surfaced, the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced to launch an investigation into the Health and Dental insurance companies.
Meanwhile, three Democratic lawmakers in a letter written to nine insurance companies on Thursday asked to return the excess money to the customers.
“In a time of national crisis and when many families are struggling financially, the insurance industry must do its part to assist individuals who are deferring medical procedures, avoiding doctors’ offices, or otherwise not using the health insurance for which they are paying,” read the letter.