Last week, both the House and Senate took the first steps toward dismantling the Affordable Care Act. This morning, a review by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concluded that one approach to repealing this law would result in millions of additional uninsured Americans and higher rates for those with insurance. [More]
About 36 hours after the U.S. Senate narrowly voted to approve a budget resolution that gets the ball rolling on repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the House of Representatives has also okayed the resolution by a vote that largely — but not unanimously — followed party lines. [More]
In the early hours of Thursday morning, the U.S. Senate voted — largely along party lines — on a resolution instructing multiple legislative committees to begin the process of disassembling the 7-year-old Affordable Care Act. [More]
Selling health insurance to dead people is not a very profitable business, since they don’t need it. Yet because of bad information in marketing databases, plenty of dead people receive marketing mail… including Medicare supplemental insurance solicitations when they’re about to turn 65. Why do dead people keep getting mail, and is it possible to stop it before it sets off fresh grief? [More]
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.
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 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]
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]
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]
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
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.
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]
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]
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.