Daily Health Care News
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Blue Cross Parent Expecting Losses in 2014 Due to Obamacare
Wednesday, March 05, 2014; Source: Crain’s Chicago Business
Annual net income for the parent company of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois fell well below the $1 billion mark for the first time since 2009, in part because the insurance giant is setting aside money to offset expected losses from the troubled rollout of Obamacare.
Insurers’ Obamacare Losses May Reach $5.5 Billion, U.S. Says
Wednesday, March 05, 2014; Source: Indianapolis Business Journal
Health insurers such as Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. and Louisville-based Humana Inc. stand to receive $5.5 billion next year to cover losses from Obamacare in a program the law’s opponents label a bailout.
Latest Obamacare Change - Not an Option for Most NJ Policyholders
Thursday, March 06, 2014, 11:06 am ET; Source: nj.com
The two-year extension for people whose individual health insurance policies don’t comply with requirements of the new health care law, announced yesterday, will have little impact in New Jersey.
Fla. Health Choices Launches State Exchange
Tuesday, March 04, 2014, 3:11 pm ET; Source: Associated Press
The troubled Florida Health Choices program launched an insurance exchange Tuesday, after several delays, that is separate from the Affordable Care Act marketplace.
Tallying Local Health Plan Enrollment in Covered California
Wednesday, March 05, 2014, 9:34 am ET; Source: Bizjournals.com
Health plan market share in Covered California remained remarkably stable in the Sacramento region in January, even though sign ups rose 41 percent.
Vermont Exchange Enrollees Tend to be Older - And Maybe Sicker
Wednesday, March 05, 2014; Source: BurlingtonFreePress.com
A snapshot of the Vermonters who have signed up for insurance through Vermont Health Connect shows more than half are female and — worrisome to some — 62 percent are over age 45.
Covered California Begins Ad Blitz in Final Enrollment Weeks
Wednesday, March 05, 2014, 7:58 pm ET; Source: Los Angeles Times
With less than a month left for enrollment in Obamacare, California's insurance exchange is applying a major dose of peer pressure.
You Can Keep Your Old Health Plan (Until After the Midterm Elections)
Tuesday, March 04, 2014; Source: Bloomberg Businessweek
The Obama administration’s next health-care fix may be an attempt to cure anxiety—among Democrats running for re-election, at least.
Employer Health Exchanges See Lower Costs
Thursday, March 06, 2014, 12:34 am ET; Source: Forbes
Pioneering companies that turned to a new concept of giving their workers money to buy health benefits via private online marketplaces known as exchanges are seeing lower health care costs.
Companies Say Obamacare Is Slamming The Health Care Industry
Wednesday, March 05, 2014; Source: Business Insider
The results of the Institute for Supply Management's monthly survey of firms in the American services sector revealed concern about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Employer Health Plan in 2025? Don't Count On It
Thursday, March 06, 2014, 9:09 am ET; Source: CNBC
Large employers remain committed to providing their workers with health benefits for now, despite rising costs and more regulation under Obamacare.
YOUR MONEY-Private Health Exchanges Begin to Shift Behavior
Thursday, March 06, 2014; Source: Reuters
Shopping for employee health insurance on private marketplaces might be the way of the future for tens of millions.
Money Pours Into Health-Care ETFs Spurred by New Drugs
Thursday, March 06, 2014, 12:01 am ET; Source: Bloomberg
Money is flooding into exchange-traded funds focused on health care at the fastest rate in at least six years, driven by booming biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors bringing new products to market.
Hospitals and Health Systems
Blue Cross of Rhode Island is Unsuccessful in Bouncing Hospital System’s Antitrust Claim
Thursday, March 06, 2014; Source: The National Law Review
In June of 2013, Steward Health System, a Massachusetts-based provider, commenced an antitrust lawsuit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island in the federal district court in Rhode Island. Steward contended that, for anticompetitive reasons, BCBS-RI derailed Steward’s proposed acquisition of Landmark Medical Center, a Rhode Island hospital that was in financial distress and looking to be acquired.
Policy and Regulatory
Top Obamacare Official Resigning at End of the Month
Thursday, March 06, 2014, 8:22 am ET; Source: CNBC
A top Obamacare official whom Republicans accused of misleading them before the troubled launch of the health care plan is resigning at the end of the month, according to published reports.
White House Extends ‘Keep Your Plan’ Fix for Obamacare
Wednesday, March 05, 2014, 4:29 pm ET; Source: ABC News
The Obama administration is allowing people to keep their health care plans that don’t comply with the standards of the Affordable Care Act for another two years, putting off a political hurdle for Democrats until after the midterm elections.
U.S. House Votes to Delay Obamacare Penalty for Non-Enrollment
Wednesday, March 05, 2014; Source: Reuters
The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to delay for one year the tax penalty Americans will pay under President Barack Obama's healthcare law if they decline to enroll in health coverage.
Obamacare Open Enrollment Deadline Will Not Be Extended
Wednesday, March 05, 2013; Source: Main St
White House officials have announced that the open enrollment deadline for 2014 coverage under the Affordable Care Act will not be extended past March 31.
The Inevitability of Obamacare for Illegal Aliens
Wednesday, March 05, 2014, 3:00 am ET; Source: uexpress
You knew it was coming. I knew it was coming. When government expands entitlements, illegal aliens always end up with a piece of the pie.
Medicare and Medicaid
Virginia GOP Legislators Oppose Medicaid Expansion Despite Benefits to Their Districts
Wednesday, March 05, 2014; Source: The Washington Post
Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford) is leading the campaign to block Medicaid expansion even though the largest hospital in his Fredericksburg district says it desperately needs the money to continue supporting health care for the city’s poor.
‘Private Option’ Medicaid Expansion to Continue in Arkansas
Wednesday, March 05, 2014, 4:22 pm ET; Source: PBS NewsHour
The Arkansas experiment to use federal Medicaid dollars to help low-income people buy private health insurance plans will survive another year.
Utah Governor Hopes for Medicaid Deal Soon
Wednesday, March 05, 2014; Source: Cache Valley Daily
Gov. Gary Herbert says he hopes to come to an agreement on Medicaid expansion with legislators before their annual session wraps up next week.
NH Senate to Vote on Medicaid Expansion
Thursday, March 06, 2014, 6:08 am ET; Source: WMUR
New Hampshire's state Senate is set to vote on a bipartisan agreement to use federal Medicaid money to buy private health insurance for thousands of poor adults.
Colorado Completes Duals Demonstration MOU With CMS
Wednesday, March 05, 2014; Source: HMA
This week, our In Focus section reviews the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the State of Colorado for its dual eligible financial alignment demonstration.