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More About Health Insurance News

Report highlights increasing costs for employer-sponsored health insurance
December 9th, 2010

From 2003 - 2009, premiums for employer-sponsored family health insurance plans went up by an average of 41%. At the same time, subscribers saw their deductibles increase, on average, by 77%. Those are the findings of a state-by-state analysis of health care conducted by The Commonwealth Fund.

Federal debt commission finalizes recommendations for Medicare changes
December 8th, 2010

After releasing a draft document in November, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform has finalized its recommendations regarding how best to reform the federal budget process. The commission was created by President Barack Obama in response to concerns that the federal deficit is growing uncontrollably.

HMO rate increases to hit five year high, according to new analysis
December 7th, 2010

Using information collected from 160 companies, consulting firm Aon Hewitt has calculated that HMO subscribers can expect to see the largest rate increases since 2006. The firm's analysis determined that the average increase in premiums in 2011 will be 9.8 percent. In 2006, rates went up an average of 10 percent.

Forgot your co-pay amount? There's an app for that.
December 6th, 2010

In recent years, the use of smart phones has skyrocketed. These devices--which can make your phone seem more like a computer than a phone--do everything from email to banking to household tasks. Now, a Xerox Company subsidiary has released two applications that allow users of the popular iPhone to better manage their health care.

Weekly health insurance roundup: November 29 - December 3, 2010
December 3rd, 2010

Some insurance companies, like Blue Cross Blue Shield, are continuing to spread holiday cheer this week with charitable donations. Others, like UnitedHealthcare, are playing the role of the Grinch. Plus, we welcome HealthSpring as a new guest in the weekly roundup.

Health Net and two other insurers suspended from Medicare program
December 2nd, 2010

Insurance company Health Net is prohibited from marketing or enrolling new members in its Medicare plans according to a notice issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Nov 19. The sanctions come on the heels of a CMS audit that uncovered multiple violations of Medicare rules. Two other companies, Arcadian Management Services and Universal American Corporation, are also subject to government sanctions.

UnitedHealth Group calculates cost of diabetes as $3.35 trillion by 2020
December 1st, 2010

In a recently released study, UnitedHealth Group's Center for Health Reform & Modernization sounds the alarm on the rising cost of diabetes care in the United States. According the report, if current trends continue, more than 50 percent of all Americans could have diabetes or pre-diabetes by 2020. As a result, diabetes-related costs could reach as much as $3.35 trillion and comprise 10 percent of all health care spending by the end of the decade.

Poll: Most Americans Believe Smokers Should Pay Higher Health Insurance Premiums
November 30th, 2010

Should smokers pay more for health insurance?

New study find that health insurance companies pay more for hospital services in San Francisco
November 29th, 2010

According to a new study, health care markets that are dominated by a prominent hospital system are able to charge health insurance companies more than twice what Medicare pays for inpatient care. The findings are part of a report commissioned by Catalyst for Payment Reform and completed by the Center for Studying Health System Change.

Humana to purchase Concentra for $790 million
November 26th, 2010

Humana health insurance is growing. The company recently announced that it signed a purchase agreement for Concentra, Inc. The deal will cost the insurer $790 million and will allow it to expand its medical services.

Weekly health insurance roundup: November 22-26, 2010
November 26th, 2010

Amerigroup health insurance wanted everyone to have a happy Thanksgiving, but UnitedHealthcare is concerned that too much turkey and the trimmings could spell big health bills in the future. There are these stories plus more from Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna in this week's roundup.

California PPOs get low marks for service from customers
November 23rd, 2010

For the second year, the California Department of Insurance has issued report cards scoring state PPOs. The scores are based upon national standards of care, as well as member ratings. In all areas, none of the rated plans received excellent marks.

Rewards program offers financial incentives for healthy habits
November 22nd, 2010

Members of certain UnitedHealthcare medical plans now have a new tool to help them meet their health goals. UnitedHealth Personal Rewards tracks healthy behaviors using a personalized scorecard and provides financial incentives for participants. Originally started as a pilot program for the insurer's employees, rewards are now being offered to subscribers in group plans with more than 3,000 members.

Innovation Center launched to focus on improving Medicare and Medicaid
November 19th, 2010

The government is looking for new ways to improve quality of care for Medicaid and Medicare recipients. To gather your comments and ideas, an online Innovation Center was recently unveiled.

Weekly Health Insurance Roundup: November 15 - 19, 2010
November 19th, 2010

Health insurance companies are getting into the holiday spirit. This week's roundup brings all sorts of feel-good news. Before digging into the turkey and stuffing, take a moment to find out more about what UnitedHealthCare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna and Molina Healthcare have planned. One company even wants to pay you to go to the doctor.

Generics and physician incentives are on the rise according to managed care survey
November 18th, 2010

The 2010 eValue8 survey provides a new look at how health insurance companies are doing business in the United States. Conducted by the National Business Coalition on Health, data was collected from 64 health plans, which collectively represent 100 million American subscribers.

Senior group outraged over government recommendation to reduce Medicare benefits
November 17th, 2010

In early 2010, President Barack Obama created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to develop solutions that may ensure the long-term sustainability of the federal budget. Now, the commission has issued its draft report, and a senior advocacy group is crying foul.

Aetna launches new website for consumers in the individual health insurance market
November 16th, 2010

As one of the nation's largest health insurance companies, Aetna is providing customers with a new way to explore its health plan options. A new consumer website was unveiled to simplify the process of finding health quotes from the company.

Latest CDC data shows 50 million adults uninsured in 2010
November 15th, 2010

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of uninsured adults in the United States climbed by 4 million from 2008 to the first quarter of 2010.

Weekly Health Insurance Roundup: November 8 - 12, 2010
November 12th, 2010

It is open enrollment season in many workplaces, and it seems like everyone has health insurance on the brain. To help consumers find the right plan, Aetna and UnitedHealthcare have rolled out separate online tools. Meanwhile, Blue Cross Blue Shield is earning accolades in some states as accusations continue to fly in Michigan.