Push for price transparency reveals challenge of estimating costs

Despite the push for consumers to shop around in order to save money on their health plans in 2016, some have expressed frustration with the current price transparency tools provided by insurers, according to NPR.

Retail stores gain steam among health insurers

Even as the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces have led countless consumers to buy health coverage online, major insurers also are embracing the idea of operating physical stores that promise personalized customer service.

Consumers unhappy to see fewer, more expensive PPO plans on ACA exchanges

Not only are there fewer preferred provider organization plans on the health insurance exchanges in 2016, those plans are also pricier. And some consumers are not happy about this trend, according to a Kaiser Health News report.


Health insurance execs focus on holistic approach to population health

​Now that open enrollment is underway for Affordable Care Act exchange plans, the focus is turning to what insurance companies are planning for the upcoming year, including how they plan to manage population health. To find out what's in store, Managed Healthcare Executive asked four health plan executives about their goals and priorities.

HHS touts consumer education amid insurers' ACA concerns

During the Affordable Care Act's third open enrollment period, one major focus of the Obama administration has been to help consumers understand their overall healthcare costs--which it hopes will stem some of the customer churn that's worrying insurers, Bloomberg reports.

What Sanders' single-payer system would mean for health insurers

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' plan to overhaul the healthcare system would essentially relegate health insurers to selling supplemental coverage, according to the Associated Press. 

California creates $1.1B deficit with failed healthcare tax

After failing to devise a way to replace the state's managed care organization tax, California lawmakers are facing a $1.1 billion hole in next year's health budget, Kaiser Health News reports.

3 reasons not to fear UnitedHealth's ACA exchange woes

While UnitedHealth Group's recently soured outlook on the Affordable Care Act exchanges left the industry reeling, predictions that it could spell the end of the healthcare reform law may be premature, according to one expert.

CBO report: Feds can't sustain Medicare spending

Due to the increase in life expectancy and baby-boomers reaching the age of 65, Medicare spending will likely skyrocket so much that the federal government will have to either reduce spending or increase taxes, according to a new Congressional Budget Office report.

Arizona the latest CO-OP to fail, will shut down at year's end

Arizona's consumer operated and oriented plan (CO-OP) has became the latest to fail, bringing to a total 13 CO-OPs that have either closed or started to wind down operations across the country.

Report: Double-digit ACA premium hike predictions overestimated

Predictions of widespread double-digit premium rate increases for consumers purchasing health insurance through the state marketplaces were overestimated, according to a report from the nonprofit Urban Institute. 

Health insurance and mobile engagement: What's working, what's new and what's next [Special Report]

With the rise of consumerism in healthcare, the imperative has never been greater for insurers to find innovative ways to engage with their customers. In this special report, FierceHealthPayer examines the myriad ways insurers and other organizations engage consumers through mobile technology, assessing the benefits and challenges--as well as what lies ahead.

Insurers, manufacturers consider compromise in drug-price debate

Drug makers and insurance companies may finally be leaning toward some form of mutual understanding and compromise about rising prescription prices, according to STAT News.

Medicare bundled payment project could guide other payers' strategies

Through its bundled payments pilot program, the Medicare program is currently testing models that it hopes will encourage higher-quality, lower-cost care and ultimately influence how other payers design their own alternative payment models, according to a policy brief from Health Affairs.


The insurer-physician relationship: Improved, but still imperfect

Relations are not so tense these days between health insurers and physicians, but several issues still divide them, according to Managed Care magazine.

Groups want to keep limits on risk corridor payouts to insurers

Despite news that the nation's largest health insurer is struggling to make a profit on the Affordable Care Act exchanges, some conservative groups want to continue limiting the government's ability to cushion the companies' losses.

GAO: New drugs account for highest costs in Medicare Part B

After examining the expenditures on the five highest-cost Medicare Part B drugs, a report by the Government Accountability Office found that high costs were concentrated among a small number of drugs and conditions.


Despite UnitedHealth's exchange struggles, other insurers still optimistic

Now that UnitedHealth Group has made it clear that it is losing money on the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the focus is turning to the country's other major insurers to determine just how worried the Obama administration--and consumers--should be.


Advocates urge state insurance regulators to scrutinize mergers

With worries that the proposed mergers of major health insurance companies are going to be bad news for consumers, some are urging state insurance regulators to carefully scrutinize those plans.


Survey: IT outsourcing on the rise among health insurers

The healthcare payer IT outsourcing market is expected to grow more than 40 percent in the next two years, according to a new Black Book survey. That's because better software solutions have accelerated expenses faster than originally anticipated, and there has not been any corresponding increase in revenue for many health plans.