Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Scott Gottlieb argues that the Aetna-Humana and the Anthem-Cigna combinations are evidence of waning insurer competition that is the direct result of Obamacare. Not only are ACOs not a panacea, but the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate to limit administrative costs is forcing Aetna et al to spread their costs over a larger base.Details
Health insurance mergers have hit the headlines recently. Aetna and Humana led off by announcing their merger, followed by the agreement by Cigna to be purchased by Anthem. To some, the most notable outcome of these mergers is that they yield two very large insurers, and leave the U.S. with three large health insurers with annual revenues in the $150 billion range. In this populist, “big is bad” era there are already calls for the Justice Department to step in and prevent the mergers. Let’s think this through step by step.Details
Hey, employers, don’t even think about reimbursing your workers’ health-insurance premiums.
Beginning this month, the IRS can levy fines amounting to $100 per worker per day or $36,500 per worker per year, with a maximum of $500,000 per firm.Details
In December 2009, President Barack Obama directed the Department of Health and Human Services, acting through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), to implement a three-year demonstration intended to support the transformation of federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) into advanced primary care practices (APCPs) in support of Medicare beneficiaries.Details
A $57 million experiment to deliver better, more efficient care at federally funded health centers struggled to meet its goals and is unlikely to save money, says a new government report.Details
With millions of people getting health insurance coverage since 2010, health insurers can buy one another faster than they can sign up new customers.Details
State-run health insurance markets that offer coverage under President Barack Obama’s health law are struggling with high costs and disappointing enrollment. These challenges could lead more of them to turn over operations to the federal government or join forces with other states.Details
The Affordable Care Act created a new kind of “cooperative” health insurance arrangement heralded by supporters of health reform. The co-ops were founded on the idealistic belief that community members could band together to create health insurance companies that would be member-driven, service-oriented, and would not have to answer to shareholders or turn a profit.Details
The Louisiana Department of Insurance announced today that the Louisiana Health Cooperative, Inc. (Co-Op), a health insurer formed under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as a non-profit health insurance company, will be winding down its operations at the end of 2015. The Co-Op will not offer coverage in 2016 but will continue to honor all in-force policies for the approximately 17,000 individuals that currently receive health insurance coverage from the Co-Op. Most of the Co-Op members enrolled in coverage through the health insurance exchange operated by the federal government under the ACA.Details
The settlement announced this week between the state and Noridian Healthcare Services over Maryland’s bungled online health exchange is not quite a done deal.
The $45 million deal must still be approved by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the U.S. attorney’s office for Maryland and the North Dakota insurance regulators, who oversee Noridian Healthcare’s parent company.Details