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Weekly health insurance roundup: December 20 - 24, 2010 Posted: December 24th, 2010

By Maryalene LaPonsie

As health insurance companies and their employees prepared to celebrate Christmas, all was calm in the world of health insurance…well, almost. There was still news to be made by insurance giants Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Assurant health insurance was making waves in Wisconsin.

Aetna offers goodwill to men

Men - and women - of Ohio can rest assured that they will continue to be able to use Memorial Hospital of Union County as an in-network Aetna provider. The non-profit community hospital struck a deal with the insurer that resulted in a three-year contract, according to a Palo Alto Daily News report.

Blue Cross Blue Shield is bringing more than figgy pudding

Baby, it's cold outside. And Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield wants to keep heads and hands warm this winter season. The insurance company headed up "Operation Woolly Mittens" which collected new and nearly new mittens, scarves and hats for deserving families. Approximately 1,400 items were collected to be distributed through five Central Arkansas charities.

Elsewhere, Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates report they have been opening their wallets all year long to help those less fortunate. Anthem Blue Cross in California, its foundation and employees donated $3.6 million to civic organizations and charitable causes in 2010. Meanwhile Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Colorado donated $605,000, and Virginia and Missouri affiliates contributed $1.05 million and $1.13 million, respectively, to charities.

Then, just like Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross in California is giving subscribers a reason to smile this Christmas. The insurance company inked a zero-hour agreement with El Camino Hospital in Mountain View that keeps the hospital in the insurer's provider network.

Assurant health insurance has been naughty, not nice

Santa Claus is making a list and checking it twice. Will he find out Assurant health insurance has been naughty or nice? According to the Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance, Santa won't be pleased. The health insurance company just paid $280,000 to settle complaints about its grievance procedures, poor documentation and use of unlicensed agents, according to a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel report. This isn't the first time Assurant health insurance has faced the ire of insurance agencies. It has also been penalized in Montana, Oklahoma and Colorado.