Misfit Photographer

Aetna Threatened To Quit State Insurance Exchanges If Humana Merger Was Blocked

In a lawsuit seeking to block the merger of health insurance companies Aetna and Humana, the U.S. Department of Justice cited decreased competition on state individual health insurance exchanges as one reason why the merger shouldn’t happen. [More]

No One Will Tell Man Why Lowe’s Opened Insurance Policy For Him After He Left Company

Ninja M.

A man who briefly worked for a company owned by Lowe’s is at risk of losing his current medical insurance after finding out that the home improvement retailer took out a health insurance policy in his name after he stopped working there. [More]

Anthem

Report: Justice Dep’t Ready To Block Both Anthem/Cigna And Aetna/Humana Mergers

We closed out 2015 with the health insurance market poised to get a lot smaller, as Anthem proposed to by Cigna and Aetna said it would buy Humana. If both mergers go through, the number of large nationwide health insurance carriers would drop to just three… a big challenge in a U.S. that’s seen the market for health insurance expand since the Affordable Care Act went into effect. And if reports are true, the Justice Department may feel that’s just too much contraction. [More]

MeneerDijk

103,000 Minnesotans Will Need To Find New Health Insurance For Next Year

More than 100,000 Minnesota residents will have to hunt around for a new health insurance provider, after Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota announced it’s taking a step back from offering health plans to individuals and families in the state as of 2017. [More]

Michael G. Chan

Health Insurers Looking To Pay Less When Drugs Don’t Work As Advertised

If a drug maker says their new prescription medication will reduce cholesterol by a certain percentage, or that it will counter symptoms of some chronic illness, but it doesn’t quite live up to its marketing, should the insurance companies still pay the price they originally agreed to? A growing number of insurers are making deals that tie the price of a drug to its real-world performance. [More]

Health Insurer Centene Misplaces Hard Drives Containing Personal Info For 950,000 Clients

Health Insurer Centene Misplaces Hard Drives Containing Personal Info For 950,000 Clients

Last year, several major U.S.-based health insurance companies were hit with data breaches that put millions of consumers’ private information at risk. The trend continued this week, with nearly a million health records going missing from Centene Corp. [More]

Health Insurer Apologizes For Robocalling Senior Citizens In The Wee Hours Of The Morning

Health Insurer Apologizes For Robocalling Senior Citizens In The Wee Hours Of The Morning

There’s perhaps nothing more annoying than rushing to answer a ringing phone than to find a robot on the other end. But when that robocall is coming in at three in the morning? That’s an annoyance 10,000 senior citizens went through when a Massachusetts health insurer said it accidentally robocalled customers between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. this week. [More]

Supreme Court To Hear Another Challenge To Affordable Care Act Contraception Rules

Supreme Court To Hear Another Challenge To Affordable Care Act Contraception Rules

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear its fourth challenge to the five-year-old Affordable Care Act — and the second challenge involving the law’s requirement that employers provide insurance that includes coverage for female workers who choose to use birth control. [More]

Anthem Blue Cross Will Pay $8.3M To Customers To Settle Class-Action Suit Over Mid-Year Policy Changes

Anthem Blue Cross Will Pay $8.3M To Customers To Settle Class-Action Suit Over Mid-Year Policy Changes

When you sign up for an insurance policy, you’re given a price for that plan for the year. So when California consumers discovered changes to their Anthem Blue Cross policies in the middle of the year that came with extra out-of-pocket costs, two policyholders filed a class-action lawsuit against the insurance provider in 2011. Anthem Blue Cross has now agreed to a settlement that includes reimbursing about 50,000 customers in California almost $8.3 million. [More]

C x 2

Insurance Loopholes & Master Pricing: How Surprise Medical Bills Knock Consumers Down

Most of us know which local hospitals and doctors are covered by our insurance providers, but even when we make sure that we only see an in-network physician or surgeon, nearly one-third of privately insured Americans are still hit with higher-than-expected medical bills, often because their in-network hospital brought in or contracted out to an out-of-network service provider. How did we get to the point where so many consumers have so little information about what to expect when their hospital bill arrives? [More]

Over 10M Consumers’ Personal Info Stolen In Latest Health Insurer Data Breach

Over 10M Consumers’ Personal Info Stolen In Latest Health Insurer Data Breach

For at least the fourth time this year, millions of consumers are being faced with some bad news: health insurer Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield has announced the discovery of a major data breach in their systems. Over 10 million subscribers to Excellus and their partner services now have their most personal information — including medical claims records and social security numbers — stolen. [More]

Anthem Buying Cigna For $54B In Yet Another Mega Insurance Merger

Anthem Buying Cigna For $54B In Yet Another Mega Insurance Merger

What a difference a month makes: Just a few weeks ago, Cigna rejected Anthem as a suitor, citing things like the major data breach the company suffered earlier this year and turning down its $47 billion merger bid. It seems Anthem has been busy a-courtin’, as the company announced this morning that it’s reached a deal to buy Cigna for $54 billion, effectively creating an insurance giant. [More]

(B-More Retail)

Walmart Worker Suing Retailer Claiming Its Previous Benefits Policy Discriminated Against Same-Sex Couples

A Walmart employee who married her wife before the company changed its policy to extend health insurance benefits to same-sex couples is now suing the retail giant, claiming it violated gender discrimination laws. [More]

(Joel Zimmer)

Percentage Of Adults Without Health Insurance Hits New Low

Two years ago, a Gallup survey estimated the percentage of adult Americans without health insurance at more than 17%. Even at the beginning of 2014, as the individual coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act kicked, nearly 16% of Americans over the age of 18 were uninsured. The latest results from the polling organization currently put that rate at 11.4%, lower than any rate since Gallup began this survey in 2008. [More]

(cookedphotos)

Cigna Rejects Anthem’s $47B Merger Bid, Says It’s “Deeply Disappointed” By Suitor’s Recent Actions

After Anthem Inc. unveiled its roughly $47 billion bid to merge with fellow health insurer Cigna Corp. over the weekend, the object of its affections swiftly put the kibosh on that proposal. In a letter to Anthem’s board, Cigna said it was “deeply disappointed” with its suitors recent actions, and that the offer wasn’t in the best interest of shareholders. [More]

(Atwater Village Newbie)

HMO Must Pay $28M For Delaying MRI That Could Have Saved Cancer Patient’s Leg

Back in 2009, a then 17-year-old woman in California visited a Kaiser Permanente office because she was experiencing strange back pain. In the months that followed, she and her mother say they repeatedly requested an MRI but Kaiser doctors would only tell her to lose weight or get acupuncture treatments. All the while, a cancerous tumor was growing that would eventually result in the surgical removal of her right leg, and parts of her pelvis and spine. Believing Kaiser could have caught the cancer earlier if it hadn’t delayed the MRI, a jury has awarded the patient $28 million in damages. [More]

Healthcare.gov Open Enrollment Extended As Uninsured File Taxes

Healthcare.gov Open Enrollment Extended As Uninsured File Taxes

If you went without health insurance during 2014, you’re now facing a modest financial penalty of $95 or 1% of your income. Next year, that penalty will increase. All of this is news to some uninsured people. That’s why, as predicted, the federal government and some state exchanges are creating an extra open enrollment period to help these people out. [More]

(rayovolks)

Federal Government Could Extend Open Insurance Enrollment To April 15

2014 tax returns are the first ones that American taxpayers are filing since the health insurance subsidies, mandate, and penalties of the Affordable Care Act have come into effect. Included in our tax returns this year will be a penalty of 1% of income for people who don’t have health insurance that provides a minimum level of coverage. That penalty is taking some people by surprise. [More]