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

By Maryalene LaPonsie

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.

Aetna high fives the Long Island Health Network

Aetna customers in New York can continue to use the 10 hospitals that are part of the Long Island Health Network in Suffolk and Nassau Counties. The insurance company gave the network its seal of approval when it signed a multi-year contract with the hospital system. In a statement issued on their website, Aetna calls the network its "excellent partner." We are sure the executives fist-bumped after inking the deal.

Blue Cross Blue Shield: The doctor will read your email now

Ever wish you could simply bend your doctor's ear for 10 minutes without spending half a day and $100 on an office visit? Now you can… if you are a BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York member. The Blues affiliate has launched Online Care NY to allow the "worried well" and "gently ill" to connect with a physician via webcam, telephone or text message. You do have to pay $25 for the service, but it sure beats calling in sick so you can head to the med center.

Then, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is jumping on the good deeds bandwagon. It is expanding its annual Walk On! Challenge for the state's fifth grade students. The 28 day program will run throughout February and challenges children to get up and get moving.

It wouldn't be a roundup without an award for Blue Cross Blue Shield, and this week we turn to Pennsylvania. SeniorBlue, a Medicare HMO from Capital BlueCross, has been ranked number two in the state by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. The plan was ranked number 22 nationwide.

Finally, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut is this week's Grinch. The insurer is facing down critics over a proposed 19.9 percent increase in their health insurance rate. Despite consumer protests that the increase is "greedy," Anthem contends the rate reflects growing healthcare costs. It will be up to the state insurance department to decide.

UnitedHealthCare tries bribery

You've heard it time and time again: prevention, prevention, prevention. Health insurance companies, government officials and health care groups are desperate for Americans to watch their weight, get to the doctor regularly and take their medications. After all, it is cheaper to prevent problems and manage chronic illnesses than pay for a trip to the ER.

UnitedHealthCare is done begging--now they are willing to pay you to take care of yourself. UnitedHealth Personal Rewards is being rolled out for large groups with more than 3,000 participants. Get to the doctor regularly, and you could get a check in the mail.

Molina Healthcare makes sure kids are covered

When kids in Utah's Carbon and Emery Counties were shifted to SelectHealth for their Children's Health Insurance Program coverage, their parents discovered that there were no participating pediatricians in the area to provide care. Molina Healthcare has come to the rescue and picked up the participants so they can access the three pediatricians who are part of the Molina network. And for that, their parents can be truly thankful.