Weekly Health Insurance Industry Highlights
Catch up on healthcare news and gain insights from our own industry gurus.
2015 to Bring More Competition to Health Exchanges
In the 10 states where data is available, at least 27 new insurers have indicated they will offer plans on the marketplaces in 2015. Each additional carrier will expand the number of plans sold on the exchanges, since none of the carriers already offering plans have indicated they will drop out.
THE HILL | INSURERS FLOCKING TO OBAMACARE
Follow our blog to get the latest news about participants and products on the public health insurance exchanges: STRENUUS INSIGHTS: PUPLIC EXCHANGES
Analysis of 2015 Premiums
Across the nine-state group, average monthly silver premiums will rise by 8 percent from $324 in 2014 to $350 in 2015. In particular, average monthly silver premiums will rise in eight of the states, ranging from a 2.5 percent increase ($8) in Rhode Island to a 16 percent average increase ($54) in Indiana. Oregon was the only state examined in which average premiums will decrease for 2015—falling 1.4 percent or $3 per month.
AVALERE HEALTH | AVALERE ANALYSIS: AVERAGE EXCHANGE PREMIUMS RISE MODESTLY IN 2015 AND VARIATION INCREASES
California Regulators Investigating Carriers
California regulators are investigating whether several carriers have violated state law in connection to patients struggling to find doctors under Obamacare.
Officials at the California Department of Managed Health Care said they are looking into whether consumers were misled by inaccurate provider lists and the difficulty some patients are still having at locating a physician in narrower networks statewide.
LOS ANGELES TIMES | CALIFORNIA PROBES OBAMACARE DOCTOR NETWORKS
Medicare Advantage Managed-Care
CHI takes another step toward entering the insurance business
Catholic Health Initiatives is expanding its Medicare managed-care business with plans to enter markets in four states; Kentucky, Nebraska, Ohio and Tennessee after winning approval from the CMS and state insurance regulators.
Juan Serrano, the system’s senior vice president of payer strategy and operations, said the system’s strategy to expand its insurance operations—which now also include the Arkansas commercial health plan QualChoice—will better position the company’s providers to manage care for the chronically ill. CHI hospitals and doctors will have access to data on members and their medical care collected by the health plans, he said, which can be used to help identify new care management strategies.
Officials with the system have not been shy about their desire to compete in health insurance markets and their strategy to use Medicare Advantage as a point of entry. Michael Rowan, president and chief operating officer of CHI, described Medicare managed care as “a low-risk means of getting into the insurance business” in March.
Rowan also said the system would launch and acquire additional health plans this year.
Serrano said the system sees an opportunity in Medicare patients to manage more vulnerable and medically complex elderly, a growing number of whom have had some experience in the workplace with managed care. Medicare Advantage also allows CHI to employ more narrow networks as a managed care provider, something that is less prevalent though gaining ground in commercial markets.
MODERN HEALTHCARE | CHI TO EXPAND MEDICARE ADVANTAGE FOOTPRINT TO FOUR MORE STATES