Competition Growing on Exchanges

June 9, 2014

And that’s good news.  As Jason Millman of The Washington Post writes, increased competition is a sign that health plans are feeling confident about the exchanges.  There’s more:

Recent research suggests that more competition in the exchanges could help temper premium increases. Other new analysis shows that exchange plans, on average, are cheaper than individual plans offered outside the insurance marketplaces. And given the narrow networks in exchange plans, more insurers could mean better access to providers.


Premiums Rose Before, Will Rise After ObamaCare

June 6, 2014

CNBC’s coverage of a Commonwealth Fund study says:

Individual health insurance premiums in the years before President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law had large average increases and a high variability in rate hikes across different states and insurers, a study released Thursday found.

It’s the kind of thing that absolutely true, but hard for people to fully appreciate when they’re being hit with hefty 2015 premiums increases.

CRG Healthcare Update, June 05, 2014

June 5, 2014

Managed Care Headlines

Health Plans Had Big Premium Hikes before Obamacare

Data Discrepancies in Health Sign-Ups

The Latest Obamacare Glitch and Why It’s (Probably) No Big Deal

Study: Cheapest Off-Exchange Plans 40% More Expensive than Cheapest Exchange Plans

Obamacare In New Hampshire Is Going To Change Drastically — Here’s Why It’s A Big Deal

Moda Health Mulls Raising Premiums for Individual Market as Competitors Drop Rates

Double Digit Premium Increases Coming in Some States 


ACO Headlines

Aetna Readies Plan to Offer ACO Products via Private Exchanges


Consumer-Directed Headlines

Unsubsidized Young Pick ObamaCare Catastrophic Plans


Employer Headlines

Risking a Health Insurance Strategy the I.R.S. May Not Approve


Policy & Regulatory Headlines

House GOP Conflicted on Health Law Alternative

Whistleblower: Health Plan Cheated Gov’t Out of More than $1 B


Medicaid & Medicare Headlines

Medicaid Enrollment Up 15 Percent In States That Expanded Obamacare

How Many People Got Medicaid from Obamacare? It’s Complicated

Medicare Advantage Billing Errors Cost Taxpayers Billions

70 Billion Reasons Why Medicare Advantage Just Got Harder to Defend

Medicare and the Profit Motive


Pharmaceutical Headlines

GlaxoSmithKline Agrees to $105 Million Settlement

A Medicaid Expansion No-Brainer

June 4, 2014

States that expanded Medicaid are seeing enrollment increase faster than states that didn’t, new government data show.

CRG Healthcare Update, June 03, 2014

June 3, 2014

Managed Care Headlines

Centene, WellCare Decline After Analyst Rejects Takeover Speculation

Meridian Health Plan Withdrawing as Medicaid Managed Care Organization in New Hampshire

Why ‘Transparency’ Isn’t Enough for Health Care Prices

Are Pre-Existing Condition Bans For Health Insurance Still With Us?

MNsure’s COO to Step Down in July

VT’s Largest Insurer Seeks 9.8 Percent Increase in Health Exchange Premiums

Five Plans Announced for NH’s Health Marketplace

Maryland Looks to Connecticut for Health Exchange Answers

Payment Problems Continue to Vex WA State’s Online Health Exchange

Healthcare Leadership Must Shift From Cottage Industry To Big Business


Hospital Headlines

Hospital Charges Surge for Common Ailments, Data Shows

Further Evidence of How Weird Hospital Pricing is


Policy & Regulatory Headlines

GOP’s Obamacare Fears Come True

Board OKs $43.5M in Contracts on Health Exchange

MD Won’t Tap Federal Grants for New Exchange


Medicaid & Medicare Headlines

Medicare Advantage Grows, Defies Forecasts

State Survey: 2.9M Medicaid Enrollments Still Unprocessed

Lawmakers Agree to Try Out Jindal Health Plan

Massaging Medicaid


Pharmaceutical Headlines

Chicago Accuses Drug Companies of Pushing Opioids

Pfizer Agrees to $325 Million Neurontin Marketing Accord

GlaxoSmithKline in $350 Million Cancer Drug Venture

Will Shop Exchanges Survive?

June 2, 2014

There are a lot of questions about the long-term viability of SHOP exchanges.  One thing is clear, however.  They are off to a slow start, as Jason Millman writes for The Washington Post:

Take the example of California, which signed up 1.4 million people in private individual health plans this past enrollment period. Despite its success in the individual exchange, only about 6,000 people signed up in the small business SHOP exchange as of last month.

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.


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