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Health Insurance Weekly Round-Up: June 28 - July 2, 2010 Posted: July 2nd, 2010

By Maryalene LaPonsie

The nation's largest health insurers were busy last week doing everything from recalling health insurance rate increases to funding health care for underserved communities. Find out what Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield and other health insurance companies have been up to lately.

Health Insurance Weekly Round-Up: June 28 – July 2, 2010

Health insurance companies seemed to be playing a little good cop/bad cop last week with one insurer being called to the floor for unjust health insurance rate increases and another funding a scholarship program for underprivileged youth. Is your insurer playing the good guy this week? Keep reading to find out…

Aetna admits to faulty math

Just months after a similar incident involving Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna has rescinded its rate increase request in California. The health insurance company had asked to increase rates for Californian individual plan policyholders by an average of 19 percent. The increase would have affected some 65,000 Californians. An Aetna spokeswoman attributed the error to a "miscalculation not previously detected."

AmeriChoice steps up in Minnesota

Minnesota isn't in tornado alley but that didn't spare the state from a spate of tornadoes that touched down as part of recent severe weather. Based in Minneapolis, United Healthcare Group is stepping up to help its home state. The group, which includes a number of entities, including AmeriChoice health insurance, has donated $10,000 to the Red Cross and is manning a 24 hour hotline for local residents needing assistance.

Assurant gets ready for management changes

After a 30 year career, Don Hamm is stepping down as President and CEO of Assurant health insurance. Mr. Hamm recently announced his plans to retire in January 2011. Current COO Adam Lamnin will then step into the health insurance company's top spot. In the meantime, Mr. Hamm and Mr. Lamnin are working together to assure a smooth leadership transition.

Blue Cross Blue Shield offer options to policyholders in Florida and California

A pair of Blue Cross Blue Shield programs has been announced to give residents in Florida and California greater health insurance options. First up is the addition of the SilverSneakers Fitness Program to Blue Shield of California's Medicare health plans. This popular program is specifically designed to keep seniors active and healthy. Then, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida recently unveiled a wireless app that gives members and non-members alike the ability to review plan benefits, find participating physicians or compare prescription drug costs, all from the comfort of their home, or car, or even on the beach.

Molina encourages health care careers for Native Americans

Although Native Americans comprise 10 percent of the population in New Mexico, they are vastly underrepresented in the field of health care. Molina health insurance company is working to change that. As part of a multi-year commitment to the cause of Native American higher education, Molina has donated $10,000 to the University of New Mexico Foundation. The money is to be used to support Native American students attending the university's School of Medicine.

United Healthcare: Spreading the wealth and the health

United Healthcare has been busy lately. Not only is their member company AmeriChoice helping out with tornado victims in Minnesota, but the health insurance group announced several other initiatives during the last week. In Georgia, United Healthcare is partnering with Endeavor Telecom to promote health and wellness to employees of the telecommunications provider. Meanwhile, in Rhode Island, United Healthcare is expected to save that state's government $3.4 million as the new health insurance provider for Rhode Island state workers. Finally, United Healthcare is sharing the wealth with an impressive $1.225 million set aside for the United Healthcare Foundation's Diverse Scholars Initiative. The money is to be used to provide scholarships for minority students entering the health care field.