News

State-based exchanges achieve high levels of re-enrollment

Six states successfully re-enrolled large numbers of residents during the second year of open enrollment on the health insurance exchanges.

Cigna, others launch alliance to fight Cadillac tax

Cigna, the Corporate Health Care Coalition, the National Association of Health Underwriters and several other private and public sector companies and organizations officially launched the Alliance to Fight the 40 Wednesday in an effort to repeal the 40 percent tax on employee health benefits, known as the Cadillac tax. 

A look at healthcare coverage, trends before and after ACA implementation

Americans' access to healthcare coverage and overall health improved after the Affordable Care Act's first round of open enrollment in October 2013, according to a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Anthem attack traced to sophisticated cyberespionage group 'Black Vine'

The breach that compromised personal information for roughly 80 million Anthem members earlier this year was likely the work of a cyberespionage group that software company Symantec is calling "Black Vine." 

Employer-sponsored plan enrollment steady

Consumers enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans over the last two years are largely staying in those plans, according to a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Covered California reports modest premium increase of 4 percent

California's state-run health insurance exchange, Covered California, announced that premiums are set to increase 4 percent statewide, which the federal government hailed as a sign the Affordable Care Act is working as intended.

Michigan health insurer pays members to use cost-estimator tool

Michigan-based insurer Priority Health wants to control healthcare costs—so it plans to reward its members who hunt down the best price for their medical procedures.

Anthem, Cigna see pharmacy benefit management opportunities in merger

In addition to adding to the insurance industry's wave of consolidation, the news of Anthem's deal to acquire Cigna also reinforced how much value the largest health insurers place in the pharmacy benefit management business.

Louisiana Health Cooperative becomes latest CO-OP to bite the dust

The Louisiana Department of Insurance announced that the state's consumer operated and oriented health plan, Louisiana Health Cooperative, will discontinue selling coverage at the end of 2015. Currently, 17,000 residents receive coverage from the CO-OP.

State exchanges may turn to feds, other states to run their marketplaces

Struggling with high costs and lower-than-expected enrollment, state-based health insurance exchanges increasingly consider turning over their operations to the feds or partnering with other states.

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...

All eyes on how regulators will respond to massive health insurer mergers

Now that four of the country's five largest health insurers have announced merger deals, the focus turns to how federal and state regulators will respond to such significant industry consolidation.

Why Blue Cross has been quiet on the Anthem, Cigna deal

After Anthem announced last week its $54.2 million deal to acquire Cigna, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association has remained relatively mum.

Medicare Advantage members have 'robust' plan choice

Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollees enjoy considerable plan choice and are likely to continue to do so even amid the wave of consolidation that has recently taken place in the health insurance industry, according to a new analysis from Avalere.

HHS' costly innovation lab yet to prove successful

The Department of Health and Human Services' plan to ensure quality care for high-risk Medicare beneficiaries--while, in turn, save money--has yet to deliver on some of its key goals.

With Theranos deal, Capital BlueCross aims to disrupt markets--even its own

In an interview with FierceHealthPayer, Capital BlueCross's Senior Vice President, Business and Network Development Aji Abraham explains how the latest venture between the insurer and lab-testing startup Thernos works to promote price transparency and improve the health and wellness of its members. 

How Anthem and Cigna went from hostile takeover to friendly merger

When Anthem and Cigna announced a $54.2 billion deal Friday, it marked an abrupt turnaround from where negotiations between the two health insurers stood just a month earlier.

Why insurers should negotiate with manufacturers for better drug prices

The federal government could save anywhere between $15.2 billion and $16 billion annually if it negotiated Medicare Part D prescription prices with drug makers. 

Maryland settlement with health exchange operator still awaits approval

The $45 million settlement between Maryland and Noridian Healthcare Services regarding the state's debacle with its online health exchange still must be approved by federal and state authorities before it goes into effect.

Traditional-plan enrollees most satisfied with coverage in 2014

Individuals enrolled in traditional health insurance plans in 2014 were more satisfied with their coverage and care than those enrolled in either consumer-driven health plans or high-deductible health plans.