Ron Williams on Premiums, Plan Solvency Under Reform

Click here for a very good Q&A that ran in BusinessWeek between Aetna chairman Ron Williams and Charlie Rose.  Here’s an excerpt:

Rose: Will insurance premiums go up?

Williams: The answer is yes, and some of the things that will drive those premiums are significant additional taxes the industry will ultimately have to pay in the first year….

Rose: Are we also going to see consolidation?

Williams: I’m much more worried about the solvency question. If you’re a small plan and you experience costs that you simply weren’t able to price for, there could very well be insolvencies. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen them in the insurance industry, but the insurance commissioners know what can happen….

Rose: Do you feel like the insurance industry was demonized in this debate that took place over the last year?

Williams: Yes, I do. And I think our 35,000 employees at Aetna were perplexed and really, I think, very disappointed in the leadership of the country and their selection to demonize and impugn the motives of employees, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists.

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