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For private exchanges, many miles to go

There is a fair amount of hope for private health insurance exchanges in the commercial group market, but a pure defined contribution option will actually require a quite disruptive change. Read more »

How health reform went south in Mississippi

After the Affordable Care Act, Mississippi became the only state in the union where the percentage of uninsured residents has gone up, not down. Read more »

Employer wellness programs spend record $693 per worker

American employers are spending more on wellness programs than ever, but also backing away from penalties, as consumers respond with skepticism and researchers keep probing ROI evidence. Read more »

Cigna, SCAN team up for MA-EGWP market

Cigna is looking for business in younger, yet-to-retire baby boomers in California, anticipating the benefits of streamlining the path from group health plan to Medicare Advantage. Read more »

Could the health insurance tax be repealed?

Amid a possible bipartisan break in the clouds of Congress, insurance advocates see a window for changing or even repealing the much-loathed health insurance tax in the Affordable Care Act. Read more »

Medical devices desperate for more transparency, Aetna warns

Staring down the sometimes troubled and opaque past of medical devices, and upward trend in spending, one national insurer is trying to build momentum for a universal way to compare and track outcomes. Read more »

Tax tribulations: ACA complicates filing for many

This tax season, for the first time since the health law passed five years ago, consumers are facing its financial consequences. The worst may be yet to come. Read more »

Problems, potential of self-funding draw would-be disruptors

Silicon Valley is coming for the employer sponsored health insurance business, trying to raise the bar on group health benefits and "democratize" self-funding. Read more »

Vermont weary of troubled exchange

The state that put itself on the vanguard of health reform only to struggle under the weight of its own ambition is now has an ultimatum for fixing its public insurance exchange. Read more »

Humana flips Concentra for $1 billion

The retail health chain that could helped reprise Humana's historic roots turned out to a be good lesson in the evolving convenient healthcare space, plus it brought a tidy profit. Read more »

State punts on fixing high state employee health costs

Amid a ballooning deficit, policymakers in Delaware are scrapping a proposal to introduce more cost sharing for state employees, a decision that may come back to bite when the Cadillac Tax arrives. Read more »

In crowded HIX, co-op nabs market share and solvency concerns

Another cooperative insurer is boasting about low premiums attracting droves of new exchange members, raising questions about long-term viability in the wake of CoOportunity's liquidation. Read more »

Highmark turns to at-home tests in prevention effort

Highmark is expanding a low-cost approach to colon cancer screening that could help increase early detection while also avoiding the discomfort of invasive scoping and high treatment costs. Read more »

State regulators hold Excellus, others to new mental health standards

Insurers in New York are agreeing to reform their policies for behavioral healthcare treatment and rehabilitation coverage, after an "unprecedented enforcement effort of mental health parity laws." Read more »

Hacking the Blues, again

It's turning out to be a problematic year for health insurance IT management. Another Blue Cross insurer company has been hacked, and this time it seems that subscriber medical information was exposed. Read more »

Could Blue Shield of California become a tax-paying for-profit?

Facing scrutiny over executive compensation, reserves and premiums, California's third largest insurer is under pressure to justify its state tax exemption, and state finance authorities wants to start collecting. Read more »

Health plan customer experience as bad as cable?

In a new customer experience survey, health insurers are just above the bottom, perhaps in part because the nature of the service and the industry's legacy. But some still came ahead with positive reviews. Read more »

ACA chips away at uninsured, 16M covered

A total of 16.4 million non-elderly adults have gained health insurance coverage since the Affordable Care Act became law five years ago this month, a "historic" reduction in the number of uninsured. Read more »

UHG could lead new controls on hysterectomies

The nation's largest insurer may be setting a precedent with restrictions on a risky, though recently popular approach to the most common gynecological surgical procedure. Read more »

Health plan apps: Serving multilingual consumers

Following the nation's changing demographics at the local level in some major markets, Humana is making a small investment in more convenient service for Hispanic and Latino members. Read more »

States phasing out grandmothered plans

Some state health insurance markets are in for another exodus of pre-health reform plans, as regulators pursue stability on and off the public exchanges. Read more »

Cambia sounds clarion call for entrepreneurism, sustainability

Despite a proliferation of digital health companies, payers, providers and patients have many unmet needs. The Pacific Northwest's oldest insurer is trying to help find new ideas, outside the industry. Read more »

Massachusetts Blues try to go all in for FFS alternative

With two-thirds of Massachusetts healthcare still paid via fee-for-service, the state's largest insurer wants to ply its HMO-grown variety of accountable care in PPOs. It's sure to challenge providers. Read more »

Consumers getting more credit flexibility on medical debt

Too many consumers have learned the hard way that their credit rating can be tarnished by medical bills they may not owe or when disputes delay insurer payment. Read more »

Layoffs, losses at eHealth

The company that defined health insurance e-commerce is struggling in the new market, despite an attempt to sell subsidized health plans, and is now looking to Medicare. Read more »

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