Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "insurance" ...

  • Hyderabad Debates Health Insurance Model as Public Hospitals Decay

    Andhra Pradesh province in southeast India is ground zero for a series of ambitious public health programs aimed to make affordable healthcare available to the rural poor. However, when these families travel to the city to find medical treatment, they must navigate a treacherous path through counterfeit pills, medical fraud, and hidden costs. An epidemic of farmer suicides bears witness to the heavy toll that unpayable medical bills incurred at private hospitals can take on families living hand to mouth in the Indian countryside. This tragedy has added desperation to the search for solutions. One such solution is the Aarogyasri Health Insurance Program, which uses India's ration card system to provide poor families access to healthcare. But is this program enough? The gleaming new medical equipment of private hospitals in Hyderabad may be open to poor families from the countryside thanks to programs like Aarogyasri, yet below this photogenic surface is a culture of medical fraud and ration card forgery. The changes in India's healthcare system must be more than skin-deep if farmers are to spend their earnings on food for their families rather than medical bills.
  • Millions, Nepotism & Lies

    Following a several month investigation we detailed how a small cabal of power brokers were able to take millions of dollars sparsely populated rural, Hardee County received and funnel the money to relatives and insiders without going the proper channels. This small group of power brokers has been able to fly under the radar for years because rarely does a major media outlet cover the county which is part of our viewing area. State legislators who received some of the money ended up being targets of an Investigation by the Florida Ethics Commission which is still on-going. Meantime in the course of our investigation we discovered documents showing more than a million dollars in insurance money Hardee County received for damages from Hurricane Charlie which hit the area in 2004 was unaccounted for. Although the Hurricane occurred more than 9 years ago FEMA has not closed the file. Some of the contacts we made investigating the misappropriation of funds during the grant became sources for this part of the story as well.
  • Death Takes A Policy

    In a look at how the insurance industry has transformed from its traditional bread and butter of selling life insurance to selling complex financial products, ProPublica's Jake Bernstein and This American Life's Alex Blumberg explore how one man used variable annuities to make a fortune at the expense of other people dying. The story is told through the lens of Joseph Caramadre - a Rhode Island lawyer who is adept at exploiting fine print. Caramadre would offer $2,000 to $10,000 dollars to people who were close to death in exchange for their personal information so that he could buy an annuity on their life and then pocket any profit when that person died. Some involved with Caramadre's plot viewed him as a modern-day Robin Hood, offering sorely-needed financial support during their last days, while others cast him as a criminal taking advantage of people in a vulnerable state. While the ethics of his scheme are debatable, insurance companies and the government don't think there's much to dispute as criminal charges were brought against Caramadre for engaging in identity theft, conspiracy, and two different kinds of fraud for preying on the sick and deceiving the terminally ill to make millions for himself and his clients.
  • Des Moines Register Reader's Watchdog

    The Des Moines Register Reader's Watchdog column that takes on issues faced by individual Iowans who are at wits’ end and can't get answers from public officials, businesses and the justice system. Watchdog reporter Lee Rood's job is to give voice to readers who present important issues, to investigate all sides of those issues and to seek solutions that eluded others. This is a unique effort that both engages readers and values traditional watchdog reporting. At a time when journalists are seeking to remain relevant, build credibility and engage readers, she has launched this initiative that focuses not on the stories that she thinks are important, but on issues that are critical to our readers. In the past year, she wrote more than 60 columns, digging into watchdog issue brought to her by Iowans. Her work has put a new spotlight on wrongs that needed righting. Her work has led state lawmakers to propose legislation that requires Iowans to call 911 if they are present at the scene of an overdose. She has prodded the state attorney general's office to develop a plan to enforce laws that require companies to have worker's compensation insurance. She has fought through red tape for readers who didn't have someone in their corner to do so. Lee Rood's bold move to launch a new form of watchdog journalism for the Des Moines Register has made Iowans' lives better. Online, this body of work lives at DesMoinesRegister.com/ReadersWatchdog.
  • Fields of Fraud

    The most sweeping proposed reform of U.S. agricultural assistance since the Great Depression would replace most direct payments to farmers with federally-backed crop insurance—a change that is designed to save money. But this CNBC investigation finds the change could open the door to massive fraud. http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000097737&play=1
  • Questionable Coverage

    “Questionable Coverage” was a hidden camera investigative report about systematic health insurance scams affecting victims in nearly every state. As a direct result of our reporting, two companies ceased operations, a third has been sanctioned, and insurance regulators in Georgia and New York have launched their own investigations into the fraud.
  • New York Times: Princelings

    The “Princelings” series looked at the business dealings of the relatives of China’s senior leaders, and how they were able, in some cases, to amass billions of dollars worth of shares in public and private companies. The Times gave a detailed account of the wealth accumulated by the family of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and the relatives of former Central Bank chief Dai Xianglong. The investigation found that much of the wealth was hidden behind layers of private companies, suggesting the wealth was intentionally disguised or hidden from the public. No media outlet had ever offered such a detailed account of the wealth of a family of a senior leader. The Times also found evidence that the family of the prime minister and the former Central Banker received pre-IPO shares of Ping An Insurance after those two senior officials were aggressively lobbied by executives at Ping An and their bankers. The lobbyists had sought special approval or licenses for Ping. The departments the two officials oversaw eventually gave the approval, The Times found.
  • Burning Questions: Arson or Accident?

    Investigation which found that insurance companies with significant financial interests in the outcome of criminal arson investigations are in fact taking the lead in such probes- with the result that property owners are accused of setting fires that are almost certainly accidents.
  • Confusion and Consequences: Changing Michigan's Auto Insurance

    The supporters of legislation to change Michigan's no fault Personal Injury Protection implied the cause of Michigan's relatively high auto insurance rates was in large part due to generous coverage of catastrophic injuries.
  • Bankers Life and Casualty

    Bankers Life & Casualty is a 100-year old insurance company based in Chicago that prides itself on serving hte senior citizen community. But Inside Edition exposed a major financial scheme that propted a Senate investigation.