Opinion Poll Trends Negative on ObamaCare

November 26, 2013

From the Kaiser Family Foundation:



30-40% of Federal Exchange Still to Be Built

November 20, 2013

That’s what CMS deputy chief information officer said in testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, according to a report in the New York Times.  Still to be built are back-office systems, the Times reported, including the financial systems that will allow the exchange to pay health plays for coverage provided to members.

That’s the bad news.  The good news (cue gallows humor) is that so few people have been able to sign up for coverage, there aren’t many payments to process.

Security of the Federal Exchange

November 20, 2013

From the New York Times:

Ms. Sebelius said last month that the security of the federal website had been tested by the Mitre Corporation and that the company “did not raise flags about going ahead” on Oct. 1.

But Jason Providakes, a senior vice president at Mitre, said at the hearing on Tuesday: “Mitre is not in charge of security for HealthCare.gov. We were not asked, nor did we perform, end-to-end security testing. We have no view on the overall safety or security status of HealthCare.gov.”

O.K., that can’t be good.

Quote of the Day: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)

November 20, 2013

On MSNBC addressing the state’s early success with its insurance exchange:

“We made a decision early on to actively implement this law and try to make sure that residents could use it.  So we hired a top-notch administrator to run the program.  We got the website up and running early.  We set up storefronts that are open so that people can come in off the street….

“And guess what?…Connecticut is way ahead of our initial enrollment estimates.  We’ve signed up about 15% of the people that we want to sign up over the entire scope of the program.  And it’s not a coincidence that when you don’t undermine the law–when you actually try to make it work–the product sells.

“The question is on the states that use the federal exchange.  Once the technology is up to snuff, are people going to buy the product?  And I think the answer to that is unequivocally yes, because when you can access it in places like California, Kentucky and Connecticut, people are buying it.

“And over in Connecticut, some of the people who’ve had their policies cancelled and were legitimately angry about that are coming in and finding out that they have a lot more affordable options.”

Consumer-Directed Plans Still Growing Strong

November 19, 2013

Our latest tally shows enrollment in HSA and HRA plans topped 15 million at 14 leading managed care organizations as of March 30, 2013.  That’s up 15% from a year earlier.  UnitedHealth led with 5.6 million HRA and HSA lives, up 18%.  Aetna
was next with 3 million, up 17%. WellPoint rounded out the top three, also with about 3 million members, up 6%.

Health savings account assets at 12 top banks rose 28% to $10.3 billion as of June 30, 2013, compared to a year earlier. The number of accounts rose 21% to 4.5 million. JPMorgan Chase and UnitedHealth’s OptumHealth had the most health savings accounts at 1 million each.  OptumHealth had the most HSA deposits at about $2 billion.

Full coverage appears in Health Plan Market Trends.

Net Margin Flat at 4.3% through 6 Months 2013 for 21 Top Not-for-Profit Health Plans

November 18, 2013

Our latest tally of state insurance filings indicates that 21 leading not-for-profit health plans had a net margin of 4.3% through six months of 2013, unchanged from the same period a year earlier.  For the full year 2012, net margin at the 21 companies was 3.9%.  Complete details appear in the Nov. 11 issue of Health Plan Market Trends.

Quote of the Day: Duane Davis

November 15, 2013

Duane Davis, chief executive of Geisinger Health Plan, in an interview with us the day before Obama announced he would allow insurers to  extend for another year existing health plans that would otherwise be canceled under reform: “It’s pretty easy to say.  It’s pretty hard to unravel.”

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