News

Republican AGs: CMS must stop 'coercive efforts' to expand Medicaid

Ten Republican state attorneys general are asking Republican lawmakers to prevent the Obama administration from taking what they call "coercive efforts" to compel them into expanding their state Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act.

UnitedHealth parts ways with AHIP

UnitedHealth Group, the nation's largest for-profit health insurer, is calling it quits with the industry's largest trade group, America's Health Insurance Plans.

Uninsured rate drops to 11.5 percent

With millions of Americans' health insurance in jeopardy as the Supreme Court weighs a case against a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, a newly released government survey indicates that the rate of uninsured Americans has dropped to just 11.5 percent.

Blue Shield of California software update results in PHI exposure

Blue Shield of California informed members that a software update may have led to a protected health information exposure. 

Cancers, chronic conditions lack quality measures

Many chronic conditions--such as certain cancers--lack the proper representation in Medicare pay-for-quality programs. 

Anthem won't back down on bid to take over Cigna

Though Cigna has publicly rebuked its takeover offer, Anthem indicated it will not be deterred in its quest to acquire its fellow health insurer.

3 ways to improve consumer experience on health insurance exchanges

Payers marketing on health insurance exchanges should focus on helping members purchase the right coverage--not only for their healthcare needs but also for their financial circumstances. And marketplace officials and policymakers are well-positioned to help them weigh their options on both counts, according to a new report.

CMS: Insurers that make drastic changes to exchange plans face five-year ban

If insurers change the plans they sell on health insurance exchanges too drastically, they could be shut out of the exchanges for five years, according to a new CMS memo.

To recoup losses, nonprofit insurer eyes crowded commercial market

Boston-based Neighborhood Health Plan, best known for managing the care of low-income Medicaid patients, is accelerating a push into the crowded large-employer market.

Emails reveal Jonathan Gruber worked closely with Obama administration on ACA after all

Newly released emails reveal that economist Jonathan Gruber worked more closely than previously known with the White House and top federal officials to shape the law. 

Cigna, Anthem trade barbs over 'deeply disappointing' takeover bid

Cigna officially rejected Anthem's takeover bid on Sunday, saying its board of directors is "deeply disappointed" with Anthem's recent negotiating tactics amid increasingly tense talks between the two health insurers.

 

Full ACA repeal would cost insurers 19M members, grow national deficit as much as $350B

Insurers stand to lose up to 19 million members if the U.S. Supreme Court rules that subsidies are illegal and lawmakers repeal the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office, which also estimates the economic damange.

Why payers should take a personalized approach to patient engagement

The best way to engage patients in their care is to take a personalized approach, leaders from Independence Blue Cross and Penn Medicine said during a recent panel at the BIO conference in Philadelphia.

Louisiana providers at odds over commercially insured patients

An anti-trust battle is brewing in Shreveport, Louisiana, between the operator of LSU hospitals and a community health system that already has a large market share in the area. 

In-home senior care program saved Medicare $25M

A program that uses house calls to treat seniors with multiple chronic conditions saved Medicare $25 million in its first year, CMS announced.

Did Alabama Blues get special treatment because of its size?

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, which has about 90 percent of the state's health insurance market, is exempt from two recently signed bills that prohibit insurers from setting prices for non-covered dental and optometry care, the Birmingham News reported.

Private exchanges are gaining popularity--but slowly

Companies are shifting ownership of health benefits to their employees through private health insurance exchanges--but at a slower rate than previously thought, according to a recent survey by Aetna-owned Bswift.

Which CEO would get biggest golden parachute in health insurer merger?

The chief executives of three of the major U.S. health insurers currently locked in merger maneuvering have a lot to gain if takeover bids for their companies come to fruition, Bloomberg reports

HHS expands transitional reinsurance program to cover 100 percent of some high-cost claims

The federal government will now reimburse health insurance companies for 100 percent of a certain category of high-cost claims, the Department of Health and Human Services announced.

Health insurers paying for yet another Healthcare.gov glitch

HHS still hasn't fully resolved data-matching problems on Healthcare.gov that may be costing U.S. health insurers members--and money.