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Health-insurance buyers lack safeguards, study says

Indianapolis Star, June 16, 2008
A report by consumer advocacy group Families USA criticizes states for not doing more to protect consumers who buy health insurance through the individual market. Most states don't require insurance companies to sell policies to all applicants, don't prohibit charging higher premiums based on health status, and don't require insurers to spend at least 75% of premium revenues on healthcare, rather than on marketing, profits and other expenses, according to the report. Ron Pollack, Families USA's executive director, said the federal government needs to set a minimum level of consumer protection that states can always add to.