Sunday, April 26, 2015

Tara Reid And The High Cost Of Health Insurance

One of Ms.Reid's more demure photos.
This is a story about one of the largest health insurance companies in the country, the company's former chief technology officer, and the married executive's affair with a B-List actress. Blue Shield of California has filed suit against its former CTO, Aaron Kaufman, over improper charges he made on his corporate account, much of it spent to see his girlfriend Tara Reid. They claim he misspent over $100,000 in a job that he held for less than two years.

Mr. Kaufman is accused of spending over $17,000 to go to Florida to visit Ms. Reid, over $800 for one night at the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, and more than $1,300 for drinks at a nightclub in Hollywood. However it was a bowling party that really got the company's attention. Mr. Kaufman spent $879.84 at the bowling alley in which Ms. Reid was present. Ms. Reid, star of such seminal films like Sharknado 2 and American Pie 2, started acting inappropriately and passing around pictures of herself doing said acts.

Shortly afterwards, the executive's transgressions became public knowledge at the company's offices and Mr. Kaufman was fired on March 10. The company said that 75% of his corporate charges could not be verified as being legitimate.

This being America, Mr. Kaufman sued Blue Shield for wrongful termination. He claimed that he was let go right before he was supposed to receive his annual bonus of $450,000. He said he had to use his corporate card because he is currently going through a divorce and his bank and credit accounts have been frozen. Don't shed a tear for Mr. Kaufman though. He has landed on his feet quite nicely and is now executive vice president and chief product officer of a Las Vegas company called SocialWellth.

Blue Shield of California will also do just fine. In 2013 the nonprofit insurer made a net income of $171 million. Its top ten executives together earned over $14 million. You just have to wonder how many shenanigans are going on with the company's corporate accounts if one person can ring up six figure expenses after working only two years. How much of the escalation in insurance premium costs is due to corporate cover up of their profligate employees instead of rising medical costs like the company claims?

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