Poll: Americans more satisfied with healthcare quality than coverage, cost

Fifty-three percent of Americans rate healthcare in quality in the U.S. positively, but only about 33 percent rate coverage positively and only 21 percent are satisfied with the cost of healthcare, according to a new Gallup poll.

Aetna's Mark Bertolini, Cigna's David Cordani weigh in on mergers, drug costs

Though they are both pursuing mergers with other companies, Cigna CEO David Cordani and Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini recently expressed very similar ideas about the benefits of health insurer consolidation and the importance of shifting to value-based payment models.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana gears up to pilot state's Medicaid expansion

Now that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana has won the contract to be the third-party administrator of Montana's Medicaid expansion program, the company is getting ready to step into its new role, according to an article from HealthcareDive.


Losses lead UnitedHealth to rethink role in ACA exchanges

UnitedHealth Group has revised its earnings expectations for 2015 because of the "continuing deterioration" of how its Affordable Care Act marketplace products are performing, and the insurer is re-evaluating its participation in the individual exchanges.

Provider-sponsored plans: Financial success may drive growth

The recent financial success of provider-sponsored health plans have led many health systems to think about developing strategies to establish or expand their own health plans. Despite an overall low representation in the healthcare market, the PSPs may help to drive growth for the integrated healthcare financing and care delivery model, according to a new report from Deloitte's Center for Health Solutions.


Volatile insurance exchanges create stress for consumers, disruption for insurers

For consumers, another open enrollment period on the federal health insurance exchange may mean some stressful shopping around for a new health plan. For insurers, it may make what is already a volatile marketplace even more so, as many customers switch plans looking for lower prices and coverage that includes their preferred physicians and hospitals.

HHS teams up with OptumLabs for healthcare research

Optum Labs, the healthcare innovation center that was created by UnitedHealth Group's Optum division and the Mayo Clinic, will now work with the federal government on healthcare research initiatives.

Study: Coverage-shopping can help curtail ACA plan premium hikes

Leading up to the Affordable Care Act's third open enrollment period, the government emphasized the benefits of customers shopping around for healthcare for 2016. In a newly published brief, the Kaiser Family Foundation reaches a similar conclusion after looking at how the premiums for the lowest-cost silver plans have shifted.


Special enrollment periods offer consumer-outreach opportunity

As the Obama administration strives to get people enrolled in Affordable Care Act health plans, a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows that it's also difficult to reach uninsured individuals outside of the standard open enrollment period.


Regulators say Blue Shield of California backed out of $140M charitable pledge

Blue Shield of California is facing criticism again, this time as state insurance regulators and consumer groups say the company is reneging on a charitable pledge of $140 million that was part of a deal to win approval for its acquisition of a Medicaid health plan, according to the Los Angeles Times.

States, private Medicaid plans address rising drug costs

As health insurers increasingly shift more costs on to consumers, a number of states have taken steps to help protect people from high cost-sharing for pharmaceuticals, particularly for expensive specialty-tier drugs.

CMS launches effort to get children covered through Medicaid, CHIP

The federal government plans to spend $32 million in a campaign to boost health coverage among children eligible for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.


New exchange plans from Aetna target diabetes patients

As part of its suite of retooled Affordable Care Act exchange plans called "Leap," Aetna is offering plans specifically tailored for diabetes patients, Kaiser Health News reports.

Many options, no ideal solution for long-term care financing reform

Though about half of older Americans will need long-term care services and supports at some point, few people buy this type of insurance or save enough to meet their care needs. Given that reality, researchers at the Urban Institute examined three new insurance options for long-term care--though they admit they failed to find an ideal solution for this "decades-long policy challenge."


ACA exchange plans' cost-sharing methods vary widely

Health plans sold to individuals through for 2016 vary in how they set cost-sharing for services such as physician visits, prescription drugs and hospital stays, according to a new issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Report: Insurance premium hikes largely mirror healthcare spending

Health insurance premium increases are being primarily driven by inpatient and outpatient hospital spending, according to a new analysis. 

With a laundry list of fraud concerns, Part D payments are far from perfect

As one of the youngest government-run health programs, Medicare Part D has been around for less than a decade, meaning it's just reaching the beginning stages of adolescence. And, like most...

Why as CO-OPs failed, government failed to act

The decline of the Affordable Care Act's consumer operated and oriented plans can be traced to a series of policy decisions that hampered them from the start--as well as inaction from the government when it was clear the CO-OPs were in trouble, the National Journal reports.

Blues exec: Smaller networks can improve care quality, lower costs

In response to consumer demands for quality care at an affordable price, many insurers are taking note and doing what they can to balance quality with price, Henry Smith, senior vice president of operations and chief marketing officer with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, writes in The Tennessean.


Trend toward private Medicaid health plans continues in 2015

The trend toward private Medicaid health plans has continued in 2015, with an increase in enrollment by 7.8 million beneficiaries in the last year, according to a new report.