Jonathan Blum, CMS deputy administrator, resigns post

Jonathan Blum, Medicare director and principal deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will step dpwn on May 16, Reuters reported.

Study: Payers need access to Rx drug monitoring programs

The use of prescription monitoring data could help reduce overdoses, deaths and healthcare costs, according to a new report issued by the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Center of Excellence.

Next reform challenge: Reducing uninsured rates

The first round of health insurance exchange enrollment is over, but the Obama administration and insurers have a new challenge on their plates: working to reduce the amount of uninsured and boosting support for the Affordable Care Act so the next enrollment period will bring in another surge of consumers

Majority of Americans support mandated contraception coverage

A large majority of Americans--69 percent--believe insurers should have to include contraception coverage in all health plans, according to a nationwide survey of 2,000 people published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Private Medicaid expansion a big hit among consumers

Arkansas's Medicaid program, which is expanding through a private option the state pioneered, has proven quite popular--70 percent of the 225,000 Arkansans who are eligible for the federal-state program have signed up for coverage, the state Department of Human Services announced.

Ind. insurance market delivers big profits to payers

There's something about the Indiana insurance market that leads to payers reaping big profits. For example, Indiana is the most profitable state for WellPoint, which is based in the state. But WellPoint isn't even the most profitable insurer in Indiana, reported the Indianapolis Business Journal.

GAO digs into HHS fundraising efforts

Last spring, news broke regarding outgoing U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' role in raising money for Enroll America, a nonprofit that promotes healthcare reform. Now new details surrounding this alleged campaign have surfaced, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

What payers learned during first open enrollment

Now that the dust has settled a bit, how did insurers handle the first open enrollment and how are they responding to new health insurance exchange enrollees?

Use social media to actively influence consumers

Successful social media strategies should no longer focus on how to boost consumer loyalty to the brand. Instead, it's about actively influencing consumers, educating and empowering them to drive measurable results, according to Deloitte University Press.

Medicaid: 2 future trends for insurers

Given the inherent complexities associated with the Medicaid population and the huge growth of the program, insurers and states likely will increase their focus on providing behavioral health and coordinating care for dual-eligibles. These are two of five Medicaid trends that will continue in 2014, according to LifeHealthPro.

Short-term coverage can benefit consumers who missed ACA deadline

Many insurers are highlighting plans with short-term coverage now that the enrollment period for health insurance exchanges is mostly complete. They say these so-called Band-Aid policies are better than having no coverage, despite coming with a long list of limitations.

Lack of insurance ups risk of emergency surgery

People without insurance are more likely to need emergency surgery on their aorta and are more likely to die or have complications after the surgery, concludes a study from Duke University Medical Center.

Deadline to create state-run exchanges approaches

More than 30 states are facing a deadline to decide if they will create their own state-run healthcare exchanges, reports the Associated Press.

Time for NAIC to step up its game?

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners should transition from an association of state insurance commissioners to an organization that has the power and authority to represent states, says a former NAIC exec.

Heartbleed prompts password changes

After news broke earlier this month concerning the Heartbleed Internet security bug, White House senior administration officials are urging enrollees on to change their passwords, reports the Associated Press.

More hospitals provide self-insurance plans

Many hospitals are adopting self-insurance plans, hoping to offer competitive pricing to small business owners, reports Fox Business. By creating personal insurance products, hospitals can offset the costs of rising premiums.

After three extensions, payers, patients say goodbye to high-risk pools

The Affordable Care Act's temporary insurance program for high-risk patients is finally ending as planned--after three extensions.

MVP Health: Centralize data for a competitive advantage

One of the greatest assets to a health insurer is all the data it amasses. But the information won't do any good if it's disorganized and unsystematic. MVP Health Care decided it was fed up...

Medicare Part D linked to fewer hospital visits, lower costs

Prescription drug insurance for seniors will reduce the use of and spending on nonpharmacy medical services, researchers at the University of Illinois and the Johns Hopkins University found when comparing national records from before and after Medicare Part D kicked in 2006.

Insurers offer grocery coupons for healthier members

Insurers are taking a page out of the Sunday paper, sending grocery coupons to consumers to encourage healthy eating, CNBC reported.