Consultants aggressively compete to help insurers use big data, manage costs

By Bob Herman Deborah Norton is keenly aware health insurance consultants and vendors are everywhere, ready at the drop of a hat to help rip out costs or find ways to bolster revenue. “I get dozens of emails every single day from companies telling me they can solve my problems,” said
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Health Insurers Use Process Intended to Curb Rate Increases to Justify Them

By ROBERT PEAR WASHINGTON — After the Affordable Care Act took effect in 2010, it created a review mechanism intended to prevent exorbitant increases in health insurance rates by shaming companies that sought them. But this summer, insurers are turning that process on its head, using
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Texas Judge Refuses To Dismiss Health Insurance Provider Fees Case

By Timothy Jost Implementing Health Reform (August 9 update). Health insurance premiums in the individual market, including qualified health plan (QHP) premiums in the marketplace, are age rated — the older you are, the more you pay. Obviously, each of us is one year older at the end
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GOP-led states reject Obama administration’s proposed limit of short-term health plans

By Virgil Dickson Republican-led states are pushing back on a federal proposal to limit the use of short-term health plans. The Obama administration aims to move more healthy people into the Affordable Care Act marketplace by limiting cheaper but less-robust coverage options. Read mor
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Overwhelming Evidence That Obamacare Caused Premiums To Increase Substantially

By Brian Blase Two scholars at the renowned Brookings Institution, Loren Adler and Paul Ginsburg, have published an analysis finding that “average premiums in the individual market actually dropped significantly upon implementation of the ACA [Affordable Care Act].” This contrasts wit
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What’s bad for health insurers may be good for consumers

By Walecia Konrad After much speculation, it’s official: The U.S. Department of Justice announced last Thursday that it is suing to block health insurer Anthem’s proposed $48 billion acquisition of Cigna and Aetna’s proposed $34 billion acquisition of Humana. The two
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Humana dumps ACA plans as feds blast its Aetna deal

By Bob Herman Just as the U.S. Justice Department formally moved to block the merger between Humana and Aetna, Humana said it is significantly reducing its individual health plans sold on and off the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges. Read more…
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GOP platform holds back on health policies except in social issues

By Shannon Muchmore The Republican Party platform released Monday at the 2016 convention is strongly conservative on social issues related to healthcare and contains little in the way of new ideas. The platform calls for a halt to the Affordable Care Act, shifting Medicare to a premiu
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Small businesses need stop-loss policy protections

By Jim Kunz / President, Mega Corp Inc. New Mexico runs on small business. Ninety-five percent of the state’s firms have fewer than 100 employees. Unfortunately, these businesses are struggling. Last year, state regulators began enforcing a 20-year-old law that effectively bars small
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PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS `NUMBER ONE DRIVING FACTOR’ FOR RISING HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS

By Sara Hansard Continued increases in prescription drug costs are “the number one driving factor” for increasing health insurance premiums, according to testimony from Wyoming Insurance Commissioner Tom Glause, who was appointed by Gov. Matt Mead (R), at a subcommittee hearing
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