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Senate pressing insurers on the amount of premiums they spend on care

New York Times, November 3, 2009

Although the health insurance industry likes to cite figures showing that 87 cents of every dollar in premiums is spent on medical claims, a new Senate analysis suggests that for-profit insurance companies are spending much less than that, especially for policies sold to individuals and small businesses. Instead, as little as 66 cents of each dollar paid in premiums goes toward doctor and hospital bills, while the rest covers administrative expenses, marketing and company profits, according to the analysis. The data come from an analysis of regulatory filings by the Senate Commerce Committee from the largest for-profit companies, the New York Times reports.