News

Former HHS official calls for smarter narrow networks

Narrow insurance networks have come under fire for offering a limited list of participating physicians and facilities--but one former White House official says they can, in fact, work.

Executive order stops short of insurance for immigrants illegally in U.S.

President Barack Obama's executive order on immigration reform stopped short of offering healthcare coverage to people who are in the U.S. illegally, but the action should make it easier for them to obtain insurance.

White House overstated Obamacare enrollment

The Obama administration inadvertently added 380,000 standalone dental subscribers to its total count of Affordable Care Act healthcare subscribers, dropping the number of Americans who obtained healthcare through state and federal exchanges to roughly 6.7 million as of Oct. 15--well short of the original Congressional Budget Office projection of 13 million enrollees.

Highmark: Insurers should embrace telemedince

Pittsburgh-based Highmark recognizes the importance of technology. That's why the insurer decided to cover online visitis via Iagnosis, a telemdermatology solution, for 5.2 million of its members. FierceHealthPayer spoke with Donald R. Fischer, M.D., Highmark senior vice president and chief medical officer, about the insurer's deicision to cover this service, as well as some of the obstacles that may plague insurer's to follow in Highmark's footsteps.

Insurers raise 2015 premiums to make up for under-priced exchange plans last year

Insurers have increased premiums for the most popular plans sold on the health insurance exchanges after under-pricing the policies last year.

GOP lawmakers grill Todd Park over Healthcare.gov glitches

Despite stepping down from his role of U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Todd Parks' Healthcare.gov woes are not over yet.

Obamacare boosts state Medicaid spending

States are spending more on Medicaid, but they're also receiving more from the federal government to cover the costs, according to a report from the National Association of State Budget Officers.

Key demographics lack health literacy, risk not receiving care

President Obama has suggested that shopping for health insurance on Healthcare.gov would be like purchasing plane tickets--fast and easy. But for many Americans, purchasing health insurance is anything but. 

Consumer-driven health plans on the rise

Enrollment in consumer-driven health plans continues to grow, while HMO and PPO enrollment is one the decline. Consulting firm Mercer offers three factors that are contributing to the shift.

Which states can make themselves immune to a subsidy ruling?

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear a case challenging the legality of Affordable Care Act subsidies, many states are looking into options that would make them immune to a potential ruling invalidating subsidies.

 

Healthcare.gov glitch prevents legal immigrants from enrolling

Although the enrollment period for the federal health insurance exchange has so far been much smoother than last year, legal immigrants have been dealing with a particular hiccup, reported the Associated Press.

John Boehner opts for Obamacare, not Medicare

House Speaker John Boehner turned 65 on Monday, but he opted to keep his "expensive" Affordable Care Act plan--$449 per month, with a $1,000 deductible--instead of signing up for Medicare.

Payer-pharma partnerships move 'beyond the pill'

Pharamceutical companies should implement "beyond-the-pill" strategies that move past their traditional business model and work with payers in new ways to meet the challenges facing the healthcare industry.

Brokers see increased shift of employees to private exchanges

With looming healthcare costs on the rise, employers continue to shift their employees to a private exchange. In 2014, nearly 3 out of 4 brokers had clients who stopped providing coverage for their employees and told them to purchase their own health insurance, according to a recent survey from Benefitter.

Michael Cannon: Insurance subsidies could be ACA's undoing

The insurance subsidies available in the federally run insurance marketplaces are not authorized by the Affordable Care Act and are therefore illegal, according to Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute.

Colorado CO-OP shows how nonprofit insurers are disrupting markets

The consumer operated and oriented plan (CO-OP) in Colorado exemplifies how the nonprofit insurers are disrupting health insurance markets across the country: It enrolled 14,000 members last year, primarily by undercutting the lowest prices for plans sold on the state's health insurance exchange. And the CO-OP has lowered its exchange plan premiums by an average of 10 percent for the second enrollment period that began this week, reported the Denver Post.

Feds could alter how insurers use reference pricing

As more insurers implement reference pricing to help offset rising healthcare costs, the Department of Labor is deciding whether to change an Affordable Care Act provision that would alter how health plans calculate out-of-pocket costs related to the pricing method, Managed Care reported.

Medicaid expansion news from 4 states

Recent news reports describe the challenges of reforming Medicaid in California, Indiana, Montana and Pennsylvania and what these states are doing in response.   

Some hospitals seek upfront payments from insured patients

Some hospitals and medical groups are starting to make insured patients pay out-of-pocket costs up front.

Washington state stands behind troubled insurance marketplace

Washington's insurance commissioner stands behind the state's insurance marketplace despite an ongoing struggle to transfer information from the site to payers.