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Survey shows small employers more likely to drop health insurance benefits
November 11th, 2010

In 2014, businesses will be required to offer a certain level of health insurance benefits to their employees or face fines. While some are concerned that employers will opt to drop medical coverage and pay the less expensive penalties, a new survey indicates these fears may be unfounded.

New health plans unveiled for those with pre-existing conditions
November 10th, 2010

In an effort to increase enrollments in health insurance high-risk pools, the federal government has announced the creation of new plans for 2011. The plans continue to offer guaranteed coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions but at a lower premium rate.

Empire BlueCross BlueShield unveils virtual open enrollment center
November 9th, 2010

New York residents have a new way to select their Empire BlueCross BlueShield group insurance plan. The health insurance company is now offering a virtual enrollment center for the state's employers.

Government claims health reform savings of $3,500 for Medicare beneficiaries
November 8th, 2010

The Department of Health and Human Services issued a report that says the Affordable Care Act has the potential to save thousands for Medicare beneficiaries during the next 10 years.

Aetna profits jump 53 percent in third quarter
November 5th, 2010

In good news for Aetna investors, the company is on track to exceed Wall Street expectations. The health insurance giant saw a significant increase in its profits for the third quarter of 2010.

Weekly health insurance roundup: November 1-5, 2010
November 5th, 2010

Does money make the world go round? That may be up for debate, but a lot of money is flying in this week's health insurance roundup. Aetna has good news for its investors while Blue Cross Blue Shield is trying to keep dollars in its members' pockets. We've got these stories plus more for the week of November 1, 2010.

IRS increases tax deductions for long-term care insurance
November 4th, 2010

For older Americans, long-term care insurance is almost as vital as comprehensive medical insurance. To help make this coverage more affordable, the IRS is increasing the amount of the insurance premium that can be deducted on income tax forms.

Harvard hospital says health insurance companies avoid low-income Medicare patients
November 3rd, 2010

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard's largest teaching hospital, have discovered that health insurance companies are eliminating coverage options for a portion of the Medicare Part D market. Low-income beneficiaries are more often being forced into alternate plans as insurers raise premiums and opt out of the subsidized segment of the Medicare program.

Election Day highlights three votes on health insurance mandate
November 2nd, 2010

One of the most controversial aspects of health reform legislation, passed earlier this year, has been the individual health insurance mandate. Under provisions of the reform law, all legal residents must maintain health insurance by 2014 or face fines. Led by the Tea Party movement, many argue that the mandate is an unconstitutional extension of federal power.

Californians with high-deductible health plans more likely to delay treatment
November 1st, 2010

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research has issued a report profiling health insurance in California. Of the 32 million insured California residents, approximately 3 million use high-deductible health plans. These policies may require participants to pay up to $5,000 in out-of-pocket expenses before health insurance coverage begins.

Weekly health insurance roundup: October 25-29, 2010
October 29th, 2010

All's quiet on the health insurance front this week. Big names like Aetna and Molina Healthcare are lying low and letting smaller companies such as Health Net step into the spotlight. Of course, Health Net is in the spotlight because of a $1.9 million fine so the business probably isn't exactly celebrating.

Nearly 3,600 employers and organizations to receive aid for early retiree health insurance
October 28th, 2010

As health care costs skyrocket, many employers have responded by eliminating health insurance for early retirees. To provide affordable health insurance for those who are too young for Medicare, the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program offers incentives for employers to continue offering medical insurance benefits to their early retirees.

CIGNA and Merck partner to improve diabetes management
October 26th, 2010

Health insurer CIGNA has announced a new initiative with pharmaceutical giant Merck. In the nation's first outcome-based contract between a health insurance company and a drug maker, the program creates corporate financial incentives to help diabetes patients manage their illness.

California high-risk health insurance pool opens for enrollment
October 22nd, 2010

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that as of October 25, 2010, the state's new high-risk pool would be open for enrollment. In addition, eligible residents could begin receiving medical coverage immediately. The California Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) was enacted in response to a health reform mandate that each state maintain a high-risk pool for its residents.

Weekly health insurance roundup: October 18-22, 2010
October 22nd, 2010

There are more Blue Cross Blue Shield accolades on the way this week, except in Michigan where the insurer is being sued. UnitedHealthcare is parting ways with New Mexico while Aetna is joining with The Chester County Hospital in Pennsylvania. This plus more from Americhoice health insurance.

Health plan association says state insurance commissioners' proposal is bad medicine
October 20th, 2010

Next year, health reform regulations will require insurers to spend 80-85 percent of their premiums on health care costs. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recently announced its recommendation for how to enforce this provision, but an industry group says that the commissioners' proposal is not what the doctor ordered.

Employers not ready for long-term health reform changes, survey reveals
October 19th, 2010

Mid-sized employers are concerned about changes required by the health reform law, but they are not yet ready to manage those changes in the long-term. Those are some of the findings from a survey conducted by Edgewood Partners Insurance Center (EPIC), a California consulting and brokerage firm.

UnitedHealth Group launches pilot program for chemotherapy payments
October 18th, 2010

One of the nation's largest insurers, UnitedHealth Group, has announced a pilot program that could potentially change the way cancer treatments are administered. The insurance company is working with five medical practices to test a new model of reimbursement for chemotherapy and cancer care.

Annual health insurance report says more money doesn't equal better care
October 15th, 2010

The National Committee for Quality Assurance issued its annual survey of American health plans. Chief among its findings is that increased spending on patient care does not necessarily translate into higher quality services.

Weekly health insurance roundup: October 11-15, 2010
October 15th, 2010

Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates have been honored across the country, while Molina Healthcare is in hot water in Idaho. Keep reading for this news plus more from Aetna and UnitedHealthcare.