Will Rising Premiums Impact Exchange Enrollment?

May 30, 2014

Univ. of Minnesota economist Stephen Parente thinks that’s exactly what will happen over time, at least according to his modeling of exchange premiums and enrollment data.  It’s an interesting read and was covered by Jason Millman for the Washington Post.



CRG Healthcare Update, May 29, 2014

May 29, 2014

Managed Care Headlines

Why the Major Test for Obamacare Premiums Might Wait Until 2017

Industry Titan UnitedHealth Misses Boom in Sector

Blue Cross Cleared to Acquire Lovelace Health Plan on Sunday

What You Can Learn from WellCare’s Growth

Large Healthcare Cost Increases Are Built Into Obamacare Implementation

Top Down Versus Bottoms Up Health Reform

Insurers Hire Outsiders to Help with Consumerization Strategies


Consumer-Directed Headlines

Do People Really Overuse Healthcare When It’s Free?

Obamacare Isn’t Worth It to 72% of Americans


Employer Headlines

The Death of Employer-Based Health Care Doesn’t Have to Be a Disaster


Hospitals & Health Systems

Hospitals Face O-Care Uninsured Funding Gap


Physician Headlines

Physicians, Hospitals Size Up Value-Based Healthcare


Policy & Regulatory Headlines

Blue Cross Parent Firm, HCSC, Sued Over Big Profits, Big Bonuses

House Conservatives Push for GOP Health-Care Bill

Four Insurers Accused of Discriminating Against People With H.I.V.

Award-winning Investigative Journalists Sue Obama Admin Over Medicare Advantage Transparency

Republicans on What Would Replace Obamacare: Hey, Look Over There!


Medicaid & Medicare Headlines

CMS Studying Medicaid Managed Care Plan Rates, Drafting New Rule

Mike Pence’s Indiana Medicaid Expansion: Rhetoric vs. Reality

Report Shows $6.7 Billion in Improper Medicare Payments

Demand for Medicaid is Downward Sloping


Pharmaceutical Headlines

Insurers Scrutinize Drug Costs After $84,000 Sovaldi Surprise

U.K. Rules That Tripped Up Pfizer Deal Have Wall Street Baffled

‘When Medicaid has premiums, enrollees drop out’

May 28, 2014

The above headline from Adrianna McIntyre’s post on Vox neatly sums the results of a new study on the likely impact of charging Medicaid members even small monthly premiums.  But wait, there’s more:

Unless the program receives enough money from premiums to offset the administrative costs of collecting that money, “small premiums seem difficult to justify as anything other than a measure to discourage enrollment,” the authors write.

CRG Healthcare Update, May 27, 2014

May 27, 2014

Managed Care Headlines

Insurers Once on the Fence Plan to Join Health Exchanges in ’15

Obamacare Sticker Shock? Unlikely For Most In 2015

Was the Obamacare Panic Overblown?

Covered California Urging Insurers To Expand Provider Networks


Consumer-Directed Headlines

How are Obamacare Enrollees Using Their New Coverage?

Health Care Cost-Sharing Works — Up to a Point



WH Rules That Employers Can’t Dump Workers into Health Exchanges

New Costs From Health Law Snarl Union Contract Talks


Hospitals & Health Systems Headlines

When Hospital Systems Buy Health Insurers

Ascension in Talks to Buy Insurance Company


Healthcare Investing Headlines

AstraZeneca Shares Fall After Pfizer Walks Away


Medicaid & Medicare Headlines

States Confronting New Concerns Medicaid Costs Will Rise Due To Obamacare

The Bright Side of Medicaid Obstruction

States Consider Using Medicaid To Pay College Health Plan Premiums

Paying for Prescribed Drugs in Medicaid: Current Policy and Upcoming Changes


Pharmaceutical Headlines

Pfizer Not Better Off After AstraZeneca Exit

Hospital-Owned Health Plans Redux

May 27, 2014

The trend toward provider-owned health plans is making a comeback – and so are all the questions surrounding the wisdom of this type of marriage.  Austin Frakt of The Incidental Economist studied the issue and found:

Insurance plans offered by hospitals charge higher premiums. We also found that such plans are rated to have higher quality by consumers — but that about 70 percent of the additional premium was not attributable to higher quality. We found no evidence that integration is associated with more generous health plan benefits.

CT Exchange Rate Tradeoff

May 23, 2014

The good news for Connecticut’s health insurance exchange is that higher deductibles will act as a buffer on premium rate increases, according to this Connecticut Mirror article by Arielle Levin Becker.  The bad news: higher deductibles.

The plan design changes could translate to reductions of about 3 percent in premium prices, according to actuaries consulting for the exchange. That doesn’t mean that the actual premiums will drop, because the actuaries didn’t take into account other factors that increase insurance costs.

CRG Healthcare Update, May 22, 2014

May 22, 2014

Managed Care Headlines

Critics Call Obama Funding Plan for Health Insurer Losses a ‘Bailout’

Half of Uninsured Skipped Obamacare Because of The Cost

Next Year, Obamacare Premiums Could Decrease In CT

Independent Health in Strategic Partnership with Albany-Based Health Plan

New Exchange Rule Biggest Pre-2016 Health Care Move

Competition Is Good But Obamacare’s Not Out Of The Woods Yet

Nevada Will Join Federal HealthCare.gov Exchange


Consumer-Directed Headlines

Healthcare Consumerization: Side Effects May Include…

10 Reasons People Didn’t Sign Up for Obamacare


Healthcare Technology Headlines

Doctors, Hospitals Score Win on Records Deadline


Policy & Regulatory Headlines

Obamacare Monopoly Would be ‘Very Sad’: Athenahealth CEO

HCSC Members Want a Piece of $5 Billion

ACA And The Children’s Health Insurance Program


Medicare & Medicaid Headlines

Aetna Backs Medicare Plan End-of-Life Care Changes

Medicare May Be Overpaying Hospitals For Patients Who Don’t Stay Long


Pharmaceutical Headlines

AstraZeneca plc: Is It Still A Buy Now That Pfizer Has Gone?

Express Scripts Takes on Unfair Drug Pricing

Rx for Drugstore Sticker Shock? It’s Not Obamacare

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