“Yet thousands of policyholders say they have received only excuses about why insurers will not pay. Interviews by The New York Times and confidential depositions indicate that some long-term-care insurers have developed procedures that make it difficult — if not impossible — for policyholders to get paid…. In California alone, nearly one in every four long-term-care claims was denied in 2005, according to the state.”(4)


Audit fans, that denial rate means that 25% of all California insurance claimants are either a.) ignorant or b.) dishonest. For insurers, there is no third choice.


If you think all this is all too Mother Jones-y, let me say, first of all, it’s my magazine. The Great One said so, so back up.


But actually I would do it this way solely for the most crass, nakedly careerist of motives. The Audit senses another shift, this one in the public’s reading tastes, including among the Acura buyers and Fidelity investors who are Portfolio’s target demographic. Readers will want to know both how Mike Bloomberg does it and that they’re reading the next Ida Tarbell.


Tell you what, Great One: I’ll do it for a tenth of what it’s costing Conde Nast and cut you in for a piece of the gross. My extension is 42373.


1. For a “table map” of media celebrities at Michael’s — no kidding — click here and scroll down.


2. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser, Houghton Mifflin, 2001.


3. “The Reckoning: Safeway LBO Yields Vast Profits But Exacts a Heavy Human Toll,” Susan Faludi, Wall Street Journal, May 16, 1990.


4. “Aged, Frail and Denied Care By Their Insurers,” Charles Duhigg, New York Times, March 26, 2007.


CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post included a graphic that contained a BusinessWeek cover that turns out was not genuine. The Audit sincerely regrets the error.

Dean Starkman Dean Starkman runs The Audit, CJR's business section, and is the author of The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, January 2014).

Follow Dean on Twitter: @deanstarkman.