News

Republicans may want Americans to keep federal subsidies until 2017

Congressional Republicans are mulling whether to allow individuals to keep their Affordable Care Act federal subsidies until 2017.

Blue Cross Blue Shield to change how retirees purchase health insurance

Blue Cross Blue Shield companies (BCBS) are changing how they offer health insurance to retirees. BCBS will launch an insurance exchange this summer to support employers' efforts to shift retirees from group health benefits to individual coverage that begins Jan 1., 2016.

Private exchange CEO: 'People tend to find what they want'

Growing private insurance exchange enrollment shows that employers want to offer a variety of individual plans to a diverse set of would-be enrollees, according to Ron Goldstein, CEO of California-based private exchange Choice Administrators.

The rise and fall of Vermont's single-payer healthcare system

When Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) signed legislation in 2011 to create a single-payer healthcare system for his state, the concept looked promising. However, Shumlin pulled the plug on the system three years later after realizing the difficulty of financing the endeavor. There are two major reasons why the system failed.

Exchange plans get higher satisfaction marks than employer-based plans

Consumers who have signed up for a plan sold on a health insurance exchange are more satisfied with their coverage than consumers enrolled in employer-sponsored plans, according to a new survey from consumer research firm J.D. Power.

To repeal Affordable Care Act, lawmakers need to get insurers on board

If lawmakers want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, their main challenge is piquing the interests of health insurers who seem to have mastered the healthcare reform law.

Medicaid, CHIP picked up health insurance slack during Great Recession

A Kaiser Family Foundation study of insurance enrollment from the beginning of the recession to the last days before the Affordable Care Act went into effect shows that Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program played a key role in providing coverage to low-income Americans who lost employer-sponsored insurance.

Bad idea to replace Medicaid with block grants, NEJM says

Earlier this month, a handful of Republican lawmakers unveiled their alternative plan to the Affordable Care Act. In part, the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment Act aims to completely restructure Medicaid. Even though its terms appear "sketchy," as the New England Journal of Medicine put it, the proposal deserves recognition.

Exchange plans cover more leading cancer centers than expected

Insurers have included prominent cancer centers in their health insurance exchange plans more often than initially estimated, according to a new survey from Avalere Health.

What health insurance can learn from life and auto insurance

The health insurance industry could learn a thing or two from other industries in terms of how to make purchasing coverage more personalized and convenient for consumers. FierceHealthPayer rounded up examples from the life and auto industries to shed light on how payers can earn their members' trust and make the experience more both quicker and more enjoyable.

ACA public approval at highest levels since 2012

The percentage of Americans with a favorable view of the Affordable Care Act has surpassed the percentage of those with an unfavorable view for the first time since November 2012, according to the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll.

Aetna's oncology medical home will 'define the value of care'

Aetna has teamed with Tampa-based Moffitt Cancer Center to create an oncology medical home which intends to improve the care experience for cancer patients, the two organizations have announced. Aetna covers nearly 1.5 million Floridians and adopted the medical home oncology model back in 2013.

Insurance startups Gravie, SimplyInsured close on funding

The good news for health insurance startups continues. One day after Oscar Insurance announced $145 million in funding, Gravie and SimplyInsured--two startups that aim to help consumers and small businesses find and administer health plans--also announced investments.

Price transparency, provider collaboration will drive payer analytics adoption

As the Affordable Care Act's rules and regulations continue to evolve, payers need health IT tools and analytics to better asses overall clinical and financial performance across multiple dimensions, according to a recent report from IDC Health Insights.

Medicaid expansion battles escalate, expand

The fight over Medicaid expansion in Florida and Texas escalated this week, as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services warned Tennessee and Kansas that their special funding to pay hospitals and doctors for treating the poor could be pulled if they don't expand Medicaid.

CHIP funded through 2017 but future still uncertain

The Obama administration last week extended the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two additional years, but the program's future is still up in the air as lawmakers and administrators determine whether or how to continue it, reported Governing.

Report: Drug plan regulations hurt consumers

Negotiating drug plans, benefits and costs is a competitive process. It's meant to control costs, but it ends up hurting consumers, according to a report from the National Center for Policy Analysis. 

Nemours sues United Healthcare of Delaware over breach of contract

The Nemours Foundation, which owns the Alfred I. du Pont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, filed a federal lawsuit against United Healthcare of Delaware Monday in a dispute over pediatric care covered by Medicaid, the SF Gate reported.

Latest King v. Burwell interpretation: New exchanges may not be allowed

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell and strikes down federal subsidies for residents in the 34 states that rely on the federal insurance exchange, one legal expert suggests that residents of those states may never qualify for subsidies.

Oscar raises $145M in funding, now worth $1.5B

New York-based startup Oscar Insurance Corp. raised $145 million in its latest round of funding. That investment values Oscar at about $1.5 billion, or three times its January value, according to the New York Times.