Covid Cozenage

For those who still have doubts that state regulation of insurance is a sick joke, explain this.

The insurer recently informed employers that a 5.5 percent monthly surcharge would be included on their bills beginning in February because of increased costs associated with Covid. In a letter to employers in the group, they justify the charge by citing an estimated $10 million in Covid‐19 claim expenses, in addition to their normal anticipated claim volume. They will also not pay for Covid testing unless it is deemed “medically appropriate” by a health care provider.

Did the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance sign off on this surcharge? Are they even aware of it? Does the state government see any need to act when regulatory neglect translates into more money coming into their coffers from premium taxes?

15 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on January 28, 2021 at 8:32 pm


    If I were one of the impacted employers, I would look to my contract to see if off-anniversary increases are allowable or even addressed. If NOT addressed and allowed per contract terms, and the ins. contract covers a specific term (e.g., 1 year), my non-attorney guess would be that such an increase is indeed of questionable validity, and time to ask your attorney for an opinion.


  2. Posted by Tough Love on January 28, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    I missed seeing your embedded link before, and noted THIS in that link:

    “Members Health Plan NJ includes a contingent liability statement that allows the plan to assess employer groups if it is unable to meet its claims obligations.

    OK, so now we know that there IS the possibility for rate increases in the contract. BUT (and ONLY if) ……. “if it is unable to meet its claims obligations.”

    Just like with pensions, ASSUMPTIONS play a VERY big role on the outcome of projections. Shouldn’t the insurer proposing the increase have to “show its hand” ………. the projections (revenue & expenses) with all assumptions, so that a independent referee can opine on it’s validity?


    • Posted by MJF on January 29, 2021 at 8:48 am

      There are goals and guidelines in the finance/insurance industry but no enforceable rules of the game.


    • Posted by MJF on January 29, 2021 at 9:27 am

      As someone who had to undergo drug, alcohol, physical and psychiatric testing it’s tough to believe an entire industry can just wander around doing whatever it wants. No rules no nothing.


  3. Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on January 28, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    They cannot add in “surcharges” such as this unless the contract allows it. I highly doubt there is ANY provision in the contract that allows such a “surcharge”. If there was what would stop the insurance company from jacking said “surcharges” to 10%, or 15%, or even 25%? Where the F*&K did they come up with 5.5%?


  4. Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on January 29, 2021 at 2:08 am

    The Guy that got his ass pepper sprayed by Lefty Portland Mayor is a PARTNER in a medium sized law firm, but he is also a TRUST FIND baby!
    “Man who was pepper-sprayed by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler after confronting him over COVID restrictions is a partner at downtown law firm and heir to a dairy fortune worth tens of millions”

    🤣🤣🤣 He is also 4 y/o. I knw one thing, when I am 48 y/o I was not out creating chaos and anarchy, I was home in a nice warm and soft bed with my family…..


  5. Posted by Tough Love on January 29, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    Article: “GOP strategist predicts what will become of the GOP if Donald Trump isn’t convicted”

    Quoting ……………

    “Republican strategist Sarah Longwell warned Thursday that Donald Trump will control the GOP “for the next 10 years” if Senate Republicans don’t vote to convict the former president for inciting the deadly U.S. Capitol riot.”


    “This is their best chance to put a stake through Donald Trump’s political future,” she said. “If they don’t take it, Donald Trump is going to control this party for the next ten years.””


  6. Posted by MJ on January 30, 2021 at 7:56 am

    TL, highly doubt it but I do think some may jump ship and swim to his new party? Most of them are so old it’s hard to imagine them holding on much longer but stranger things have happened.


    • Did you see the insurgents at the Capitol building? Good cross section of idiots based on age. Not just or even mostly old people. He will split the party. And it will cost some of them. But anyone who voted for Trump and buys into his crap will NEVER vote for Harris in 2024. The problem will be the primary for the GOP. Personally I think Trump is done. And I voted for him. Toxic. Splits the country. As does the far left.
      And old age is no longer an excuse AT ALL for racist behavior. My grandfather was born in 1905, he was prejudiced. Grew up in a different era. My old neighbor when I first moved in would leave a restaurant if blacks people were eating in it. He was born in 1910 or so. Honestly, good riddance to those guys.
      Today’s 80 year olds were not quite 30 years old yet during the civil rights era of the 60’s. No longer an excuse to be “old and from a different era”.


      • Posted by MJF on January 30, 2021 at 12:53 pm

        It’s odd feeling revulsion towards someone. But it persists, maybe there is some redemption.


        • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on January 30, 2021 at 4:15 pm

          ” …maybe there is some redemption.”
          There is ALWAYS hope, always a chance to change and always a chance at redemption. And people all over the world make happen every single day. As long as there is a will, a desire and a commitment to never quit trying, you have a shot, a chance. And that is all anyone is ever guaranteed in life- a shot, a chance.

          I will always look at Darth Vader and El Guapo when I question my resolution to come back from any dark side transgressions I may have thought about, how ever brief)!


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