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California commissioner receives emergency authority for health insurance rate enforcement
February 3rd, 2011

On Jan. 1, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) federally mandated that most health insurance companies implement medical loss ratios of 80 percent to 85 percent. That means insurers must spend 80 cents to 85 cents of every premium dollar they receive directly on health care services.

UnitedHealth Group reports 10 percent profit increase for fourth quarter
February 2nd, 2011

One of the nation's largest health benefits and health services providers, UnitedHealth Group, reported 2010 fourth quarter revenue of $24 billion, a 10 percent increase from 2009. The company also saw annual revenue rise by 8 percent to $94.2 billion, according to a UnitedHealth Group news release.

Lower co-pays can lead to lower health care costs, study says
February 1st, 2011

Companies that use a 'value-based insurance design' can lower their overall health care costs. That is the finding of a three-year study conducted in Florida. In exchange for lowering co-payment amounts, companies participating in the study earned a $1.33 return for every dollar invested in lowering employee out-of-pocket costs.

Three California insurers agree to delay health insurance rate hikes, Blue Shield does not
January 31st, 2011

In response to a request from California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, three out of four insurers say they will delay future health insurance rate increases. However, Blue Shield declined to honor the state's request.

Molina Healthcare of Florida receives accreditation for new plan
January 27th, 2011

In 2008, Molina Healthcare of Florida was granted its HMO license by the state. Now, the insurer's managed care plan has been accredited by the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA).

Health insurance industry group disputes need for new rate review rules
January 24th, 2011

America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), an industry group representing 1,300 health insurers, says a recently announced Department of Health and Human Services regulation that requires insurers who raise premiums by more than 10 percent to publicly defend the need for the rate hike fails to recognize market conditions and puts the federal government in an oversight role better suited for states.

Weekly health insurance roundup: January 17 - 21, 2011
January 21st, 2011

Blue Cross Blue Shield is changing how it pays for your health care while Molina Healthcare has proven itself a worthy health plan. We've got the latest on contract negotiations in North Carolina plus more from Aetna and UnitedHealthcare

Excess weight costs $270 billion annually in U.S.
January 19th, 2011

According to a just-released study from the Society of Actuaries (SOA), the total economic cost of people being overweight or obese was $270 billion in the U.S. in 2009.

Missouri drops health insurance premiums for high-risk pool
January 18th, 2011

A federally funded high-risk pool offers health insurance to Missouri residents with pre-existing conditions. However, with enrollment low, the state has announced plans to cut premiums by 25 percent.

Blue Shield agrees to independent review of health insurance premium rates
January 17th, 2011

In response to a letter from the California insurance commissioner, Blue Shield of California has announced that it will voluntarily seek an independent review of its recent health insurance rate increase. The increase, scheduled for March, will reportedly contribute to premiums hikes of up to 59 percent.

Military plans health insurance premium increase for retirees
January 17th, 2011

For the first time in its 15-year history, the TRICARE Prime health plan will see a premium increase in fiscal 2012. The TRICARE Prime plan is available to military retirees, and the premium increase will only apply to those who are still of working age, according to an American Forces Press Service report.

Weekly health insurance roundup: January 10 - 14, 2010
January 14th, 2011

Backlash to a Blue Cross Blue Shield rate hike dominated the blogosphere last week. However, Blue Shield of California was far from the only health insurance company making news. Aetna is finding some zen as UnitedHealthcare and Molina Healthcare decide to share the wealth. Keep reading for all the latest in the world of health insurance.

North Carolina Blues to launch innovative patient-centered medical practice
January 12th, 2011

A partnership between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and the University of North Carolina Health Care System promises to offer a first-in-the-nation patient care model.

Blue Shield of California plans double-digit rate increases
January 7th, 2011

After raising rates for individual health insurance plans in October 2010 and January 2011, Blue Shield of California has filed for a third increase to take effect in March 2011.

Weekly health insurance roundup: January 3 - 7, 2010
January 7th, 2011

In the first full week of 2011, health insurance companies wasted no time upsetting consumers and insurance commissioners alike. One Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate announced a massive rate increase while UnitedHealthcare and Amerigroup were the recipients of hefty state fines.