The National Business Group on Health also found, based on 136 large employers’ responses, a continued move toward high-deductible, “consumer-directed” plans.
A little-known office tests ways to improve care, but some wonder whether its achievements will match its budget.
Hints of cost spikes matter because much is riding on spending forecasts.
This KHN story can be republished for free. (details) UnitedHealthcare, the insurance giant that largely sat out the health law’s online marketplaces’ first year, said Thursday it may sell policies through the exchanges in nearly half the states next year. “We plan to grow next year as we expand our offering to as many as two […]
By paying primary care doctors to cut specialist and hospital revenue, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is helping to alter the medical spoils system.
Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., writing for the majority, favors a tight definition for businesses that can be exempted from the health law’s contraceptive mandate. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggests the consequences may be farther reaching.
Health costs will accelerate next year, but changes in how people buy care will help keep them from attaining the speed of several years ago, PricewaterhouseCoopers says in a new report. The prediction, based on interviews and modeling, splits the difference between hopes that costs will stay tame and fears that they’re off to the […]
A growing economy and an Obamacare spending surge, many suspected, had ended five years of moderate health-spending growth. Early government figures showed medical-cost acceleration at the beginning of the year. “Health care spending rose at the fastest pace since 1980 in the first quarter as the new health insurance law prompted many more Americans to […]
Expanded coverage for young adults under the Affordable Care Act substantially raised inpatient hospital visits related to mental health, finds a new study by researchers at Indiana and Purdue universities. That looks like good news: Better access to care for a population with higher-than-average levels of mental illness that too often endangers them and people […]
How to expand Americans’ health insurance choices under the Affordable Care Act without sabotaging employer coverage? The Obama administration is still working to get the balance right. The latest tweak from the Internal Revenue Service essentially prohibits employers from giving workers tax-free dollars to buy policies in the online public marketplaces created by the health law. […]
Many insurers only dipped a toe into the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplaces for their first year. Cigna, one of the country’s largest insurers, offered 2014 plans to individuals in fewer than half a dozen states. Humana is only in a little more than a dozen states. The biggest health insurer, UnitedHealthcare, didn’t offer any policies […]
The idea, which could save companies big money, is stirring interest and concern.
Welcoming a surge of young, last-minute enrollees, the biggest player in the health law’s insurance marketplaces on Wednesday tempered its prediction for substantial 2015 rate increases. Five weeks ago WellPoint executive Ken Goulet told analysts that premium increases for 2015 plans “will probably be in double-digit plus.” On Wednesday’s conference call to discuss first-quarter results, […]
Implementation of the health law has renewed discussions of who wins, loses and gains access to health insurance. But questions persist. Here’s a corrective to common misconceptions about who pays for health care.
There’s a lot riding on these cost calculations for insurance companies, consumers and even the health law’s future.
UnitedHealth Group spent $100 million on hepatitis C drugs in the first three months of the year, much more than expected, the company said Thursday. The news helped drive down the biggest insurance company’s stock and underscores the challenge for all health care payers in covering Sovaldi, an expensive new pill for hepatitis C. “We’ve […]
Eleven years ago Bob Bennett, then a Republican senator from Utah, made a fiscal sales pitch for including prescription drugs in Medicare coverage for seniors. “Medicare says if you go to the hospital and run up a bill of however many tens of thousands of dollars to stay that many days, we will pay for […]
But insurers still contest the claim that rates will rise slightly after arriving at their own calculations of the originally proposed cuts.
In high-visibility ad campaigns, insurers maintain that reduced payment rates, which are expected to be announced Monday, will do real harm. What should beneficiaries expect?
The Obama administration keeps changing the rules on implementing the Affordable Care Act. Insurance companies keep complaining. But they’re unlikely to grouse about the latest adjustment. On Tuesday the Department of Health and Human Services signaled its intention to temporarily give insurers a break on the portion of premiums they must spend on medical care […]