Ariz. Insurer To Offer ACOs For Small Biz; Md. Plans Rated By State
Some health insurance news from Arizona, California and Maryland.
Arizona Republic: Aetna To Pay Banner On How Healthy It Keeps Patients
Aetna will roll out a new health-insurance plan with Banner Health that will pay the health provider based on measures of quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction. The Aetna Whole Health insurance plan, beginning Jan. 1, will be available to small businesses with two to 100 employees in Maricopa County and parts of Pinal County... The Aetna plan offered through Banner Health Network is the state's first commercial-insurance plan under a new model of health care called accountable-care organization (Alltucker, 11/24).
Boston Globe: Tiered Health Plans Cutting Costs, Restricting Options
More Massachusetts employers and consumers are embracing such plans - along with other "limited network’" plans that restrict members to certain providers and require them to pay higher rates for out-of-network care - in an effort to stem the rising cost of health insurance by directing patients to lower-cost hospitals. Some hospitals ranked as higher-priced by insurers say the trade-off is risky. Patients on tiered or limited network plans are sometimes denied the specialized care more expensive hospitals provide (Weisman and Conaboy, 11/28).
California Healthline: Making Maternity Rules Count
Earlier this year, the governor signed three maternity-related bills. AB 210 by Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) and SB 222 by Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) require new insurance policies to provide maternity coverage. "This was an issue in the individual market in particular," Beth McGovern of the California Commission on the Status of Women said. "This way, the cost of maternity care will be spread among all insureds" (Gorn, 11/28).
Los Angeles Times: Consumer Advocate Harvey Rosenfield Takes On Health Insurers
Harvey Rosenfield, the combative attorney and consumer advocate who wrote California's landmark Proposition 103 more than two decades ago, is preparing a ballot initiative that would force health insurers to get state government approval before they could raise premiums (Lifsher, 11/26).
The Baltimore Sun: Health Insurers Get Graded In New State Report
The Maryland Health Care Commission released its 2011 quality report on health insurance plans in the state and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States came out on top. The report includes quality and customer satisfaction information in 22 areas in four categories including primary care, chronic care, behavioral health and member satisfaction (Cohn, 11/25). (Note: KHN is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente)