Latest Commentary

No excuse for poor consumer guidance on health insurance exchanges

The message from my relative caught me by surprise. It read: "Your article today hit a resounding tone for me. I didn't take advantage of my CSR plan last year, but I did for this...

Sensational reports of health insurance premium hikes misleading, incomplete

Guest post from Joel White, president of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage At the end of July, Healthcare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan sent a letter to insurance commissioners, urging them to...

Pharmacy integration helped BCBS of Rhode Island lower costs, improve care

Guest post by Beth Herbert-Silvia, managing director/AVP of pharmacy at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Although pharmaceutical costs are a key driver of healthcare costs, it's...

A glass-half-full view of health insurer consolidation

The recent rush of consolidation in the health insurance industry has triggered a host of analyses about what the trend means for healthcare providers, employers and consumers. But I've seen less written about the effect these mega-mergers will have on health insurance companies--the ones occupying the industry that stands to be fundamentally disrupted.

 

Medicare's potential reimbursement for end-of-life discussion: A big step forward

Guest post from Jonathan H. Burroughs, M.D., president and CEO of The Burroughs Healthcare Consulting Network Dying in America is big business. It is estimated that most Americans spend almost half...

Looking past King v. Burwell: Business implications for health insurance plans

For insurance plans, the King v. Burwell decision affirms tax credits will be available for the 6.4 million who might have lost coverage. It also has the immediate effect of temporarily stabilizing premiums and likely participation in the 19,000,000 enrollee individual insurance market. But beyond this, a number of issues and challenges relevant to insurers remain as part of the unfolding of the Affordable Care Act's implementation.

As the health insurance merger world turns: Drama, plot twists and cliffhangers

While predictions that the Affordable Care Act would force insurers that specialize in employer-sponsored health plans to recalibrate haven't really panned out, many analysts agree that the decision to uphold a key facet of the ACA provided the stability necessary for deal-hungry insurance companies to make a move.

And move they have. Here are some of the recent developments in the soap opera I've come to call "How the Insurance World Turns."

At AHIP Institute, collaboration is the name of the game

Many relationships in healthcare can best be described as adversarial. Patients often distrust payers and don't understand how the healthcare system or their own provider organization works....

AHIP Institute agenda filled with familiar themes

Later this week I head to Nashville for the annual America's Health Insurance Plans AHIP Institute conference. In the midst of relentlessly checking the weather--I've been told the...

Talk of possible Aetna, Anthem acquisitions reaches fever pitch

It's time to play "Let's Make a Deal." Or, perhaps, "The Price Is Right." Also, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" In case you missed the news--and, judging from...