News

Small-group market rules change may be GOP's best chance to alter ACA

In the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling to uphold federal Affordable Care Act subsidies, Republicans have labored to decide on their next move to repeal or at least chip away at the ACA.

 

Insurers could face fines for selling Medigap plans

A new law from the Obama administration will prohibit health insurance companies from selling Medicare supplement plans, or Medigap plans, that help consumers pay their Medicare Part B deductibles. And if an insurer breaks the law, the fine will not be cheap.

GOP lawmakers gear up to fight Cadillac tax

As employers and insurers brace for the effects of the controversial Cadillac tax, Republican lawmakers are preparing to fight the provision once Congress is back in session.

Three Minnesota insurers oppose UCare's bid for second chance at contract

Three Minnesota-based health insurers--Blue Plus, HealthPartners and Medica--hope that a county judge denies rival insurer UCare's bid for a second chance at business through a public health insurance contract. 

AHIP: How payers can overcome immunization-access barriers

Adults 65 years and older are at an increased risk of contracting influenza, pneumococcus and hepatitis B. However, health insurers, providers and pharmacies can help consumers access the care they need through a variety of methods, according to a new report from America's Health Insurance Plans.

Startup aims to sweeten process of shopping for health insurance

Knowing how challenging it can be for consumers to wade through the options to choose the right health plan, two Harvard graduates came up with a solution--a startup company that uses data analysis to guide individuals' coverage purchases.

Survey: Specialty drug costs could rise 23% next year

Pharmacy costs will likely continue to increase next year, with specialty drugs driving much of that cost growth, according to a new survey from Aon Hewitt.

Survey highlights why health insurance rate remains low for Hispanic populations

More than half of 554 Hispanic individuals included in a recent survey said they lacked health insurance in both 2014 and 2015, and the reasons they gave for the lack of coverage offer insights about why this population tends to feature lower enrollment rates, according to McKinsey & Company's Center for U.S. Health System Reform. 

Tennessee, Kentucky among states granted hefty rate hikes for 2016

With the third open enrollment period right around the corner, health insurers and states are reporting their finalized premium rates for 2016--and the rate hikes aren't small.

ACA waivers offer opportunity to expand premium assistance

Some of the more flexible provisions of the Affordable Care Act, such as State Innovation Waivers, have the potential to revitalize the concept of health insurance premium assistance. 

Nevada Health CO-OP closes amid financial woes

Nevada's consumer operated and oriented plan, Nevada Health CO-OP, announced that it will cease operations beginning Jan. 1 due to "market conditions."

Michigan Blues' value-based payments save $1.4B in 10 years

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has saved $1.4 billion in health expenses over the last 10 years with its comprehensive value-based payment program that serves almost 2 million members. It also has improved clinical quality, efficiency and health outcomes.

The crucial question for Republicans' ACA replacement plans

Now that Republican presidential candidates are beginning to detail their plans to replace the Affordable Care Act, the most important question they must answer is how they'd protect individuals with pre-existing conditions, argues an opinion piece from Bloomberg.

Affordable Care Act could take hit from new accounting rules

​The next major threat to the Affordable Care Act could come from an unlikely, and seemingly benign, source: New accounting recommendations for state and municipal employee pensions.

How Maine Community Health Options keeps premiums affordable

While some insurers around the country have proposed drastic rate hikes, Maine Community Health Options, the state's consumer operated and oriented plan that serves Maine as well as New Hampshire residents, has been able to keep prices in check.

AHIP: How insurers can improve price transparency tools

Insurers have launched more price transparency initiatives to empower their members to become more engaged in and make more informed choices about their healthcare, according to a new issue brief from America's Health Insurance Plans.

Why insurers should be watching New Jersey ACOs

New Jersey has certified three of six applicants for its Medicaid Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Demonstration Project. And insurers could benefit by following the three community coalitions--the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, the Healthy Greater Newark ACO and the Trenton Health Team--during the three-year demonstration project. 

Anthem to cover female libido drug Addyi; Cigna and Aetna on the fence

Health insurers are on the fence about covering Sprout Pharmaceutical's new pill, Addyi, which treats low libido in women. 

Fewer consumers get health coverage from their employers

There has been a "considerable drop" in the number of people who say they get their primary health insurance through their employers as consumers continue to explore non-traditional coverage options, according to a new survey.

How the Cadillac tax will impact the entire industry

With the Cadillac tax slated to take effect in 2018, employers continue to evaluate their current health benefits and consider cost-reduction strategies to avoid triggering the tax.