Weekly Health Insurance Industry Highlights
Catch up on healthcare news and gain insights from our own industry gurus.
Carriers are Expanding into New Markets in 2015
Aetna to expand HIX offerings to Georgia
Aetna said this morning (7.29.2014) it will expand its private health insurance products on government exchanges under the Affordable Care Act next year to the additional market of Georgia based on the company’s first-year successes.
Aetna is already a big player on the government-run exchanges, offering health plans in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Aetna or its Coventry subsidiary are offering health plans on public exchanges operating in the District of Columbia, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Utah and certain areas of Arizona, Florida, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina, the company said. FORBES | AS PROFITS ROLL IN, AETNA TO EXPAND ON OBAMACARE EXCHANGE IN 2015
Cigna to expand HIX offerings to three new states
Insurer Cigna Corp. plans to enter health insurance exchanges in Maryland, Georgia and Missouri next year, expanding its investment in the newly created markets despite losses seen in other exchange markets.
Cigna CEO David Cordani said in a call Thursday with analysts that the insurer is expected to enter three new states next year after marketing health plans on exchanges in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Tennessee and Texas this year. BUSINESS INSURANCE | CIGNA TO EXPAND INTO NEW STATE EXCHANGES DESPITE EARLY EXCHANGE FINANCIAL LOSSES
VA Healthcare Overhaul
House approves VA healthcare overhaul
The House overwhelmingly approved a landmark bill Wednesday to refurbish the Veterans Affairs Department and improve veterans’ healthcare.
The 420-5 vote sends the bill to the Senate, where approval is expected by Friday.
The $16.3 billion measure is intended to help veterans avoid long waits for healthcare, hire more doctors and nurses to treat them and make firing senior executives at the VA easier. MODERN HEALTHCARE | ASSOCIATED PRESS | HOUSE APPROVES VA HEALTHCARE OVERHAUL
State Insurance Divisions
Oregon Insurance Division looks at regulating insurer provider networks
Oregon insurance regulators are seeking the authority to require private insurers to have enough doctors and other health care providers to adequately serve all their customers. The Oregon Insurance Division has created a task force that is working on a bill for the 2015 Legislature to consider. The group, which includes representatives from many of Oregon’s insurance companies and from various sectors of the health care industry, will meet Thursday.
“We’re looking to make the shopping experience — and also using your health plan — a better experience for consumers, so they get accurate information and can make decisions that are appropriate for their own care,” said Gayle Woods, a senior policy adviser at the Insurance Division. ASSOCIATED PRESS | OREGON LOOKS AT REGULATING INSURER DOCTOR NETWORKS
Connecticut Insurance Department rejects 2015 proposed rates
The Connecticut Insurance Department has rejected proposals by two insurance companies to raise health insurance premiums next year, and rejected the rates proposed by a third company new to the individual market.
Regulators approved plans the insurer HealthyCT to lower its rates.
In the case of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the department deemed the proposal to raise rates by an average of 12.5 percent to be excessive, and directed the carrier to submit new rate proposals for review.
Similarly, the department asked UnitedHealthcare to submit new proposals for plans it intends to sell in 2015. The company doesn’t sell policies in the state’s individual market this year.
The department turned down the request by ConnectiCare Benefits Inc. to raise rates by an average of 12.8 percent, but approved a rate hike averaging 3.1 percent.
And regulators will allow HealthyCT to lower its rates by 8.5 percent, slightly less than the company initially proposed. CT MIRROR | INSURANCE DEPARTMENT REJECTS ANTHEM RATE HIKE, LOWERS OTHERS
2015 HIX Participants
Individual State Updates
For more information about a specific state, click on the state name to be directed to the state’s 2015 HIX Competitors page. These state specific pages will be updated regularly as information becomes available about 2015 insurers and product offerings.
CHRISTUS Health Plan to join BCBSNM, Molina, New Mexico Health Connections, and Presbyterian Health Plan on health insurance exchange. NEW MEXICO INSURANCE EXCHANGE ADDS NEW HEALTH PLAN ISSUER
2015 health insurance exchange participants have been announced. COVERED CALIFORNIA | COVERED CALIFORNIA ANNOUNCES RATES FOR 2015; RIGOROUS NEGOTIATIONS WITH HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES KEEP RATE INCREASES LOW AND CHOICES ROBUST
August 1, 2014 – The Department of Consumer and Business Services’ Insurance Division has approved rates for 2015 individual and small employer health insurance plans, and on average, they are lower than 2014 rates.
Along with 14 insurers, two Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPS) filed proposed rates with the division.
The division will provide more information on the reasoning behind each rate decision by mid-August when it posts decision summaries on www.oregonhealthrates.org. Premium examples by region also will be available on www.oregonhealthrates.org by mid-August. DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AND BUSINESS SERVICES / OREGON INSURANCE DIVISION | AVERAGE HEALTH INSURANCE RATES LOWER IN 2015