Health Insurance Industry Highlights
Catch up on healthcare news
Federal Health Insurance Marketplace News
HHS and CMS announce new members of the management team ahead of 2015 Open Enrollment
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today the most recent in a series of management hires intended to ensure a successful 2015 Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace and make good on the promise that millions more Americans will be able to access quality, affordable health coverage.
Kevin Counihan will join the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) team as Marketplace Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In addition, Lori Lodes has been named the new Director of Communications for CMS. HHS PRESS OFFICE | HHS AND CMS ANNOUNCE NEW MEMBERS OF THE MANAGEMENT TEAM AHEAD OF 2015 OPEN ENROLLMENT
Hacker breaks into part of HealthCare.gov
A hacker broke into part of the HealthCare.gov insurance enrollment website in July and uploaded malicious software, according to federal officials.
Investigators found no evidence that consumers’ personal data were taken or viewed during the breach, federal officials said. The hacker appears only to have gained access to a server used to test code for HealthCare.gov, the officials said.
The HHS official said the attack appears to mark the first successful intrusion into the website, where millions of Americans bought insurance starting last year under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The agency discovered the attack last week.
Washington officials said they are concerned an intruder gained access to the HealthCare.gov network through a basic security flaw. The server had low security settings because it was never meant to be connected to the Internet, the HHS official said. When the hacker broke in, it was only guarded by a default password, which often is easy to crack.
HHS said it has taken cybersecurity seriously since launching HealthCare.gov. The site undergoes quarterly security audits from Blue Canopy Group LLC, a private security company in Reston, Va. It also undergoes daily security scans and drill-hacking exercises. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL | HACKER BREACHED HEALTHCARE.GOV INSURANCE SITE
Insurer News in Colorado
Anthem to offer new Mountain Enhanced HMO on and off Colorado HIX
In an effort to address high health insurance premiums in Colorado’s mountain communities, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado and HMO Colorado (Anthem) is proud to announce a new plan created in partnership with a local hospital and the region’s leading health care provider that is aimed to lower individual premiums in four mountain counties.
Working in collaboration with Vail Valley Medical Center in Eagle County and Centura Health — which includes St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, Mercy Regional Medical Center and a network of about 75 providers in Summit, La Plata and Montezuma counties — Anthem will offer its new Mountain Enhanced HMO plan to residents of those four counties. While the rates are currently pending approval by the Division of Insurance, once all approvals are obtained, Mountain Enhanced will be available to consumers interested in purchasing insurance both on and off the Colorado health exchange marketplace beginning Jan. 1, 2015.
Mountain Enhanced is exclusive to the Centura Health network and Vail Valley Medical Center, and brings together three organizations committed to finding ways to enhance the availability of, and accessibility to, quality health care services across the full continuum of need at reduced costs. This plan helps to keep health care local, giving mountain residents the ability to receive care from physicians and providers in the communities where they live and work. BUSINESSWIRE | ANTHEM PARTNERS EXCLUSIVELY WITH CENTURA HEALTH, VAIL VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER TO OFFER NEW AFFORDABLE MOUNTAIN HEALTH PLAN
Colorado suspends license for SeeChange Health Insurance
The Colorado Division of Insurance on Thursday suspended the license of SeeChange Health Insurance, requiring employers who have purchased policies through the California company to find new insurance by the end of this year.
The action follows the state of California issuing a cease-and-desist order to the company over questions regarding its financial solvency. Based on SeeChange’s projections and analysis from the California Department of Insurance, the company only has enough money to handle all claims projected to be incurred through Dec. 31, Colorado officials said.
SeeChange has about 4,000 members in Colorado, all of whom purchased their policies through small-group plans. DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL | COLORADO SUSPENDS LICENSE FOR SEECHANGE HEALTH INSURANCE
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 as information becomes available about 2015 insurers and product offerings.
There are two providers on the exchange — Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield and Moda Health. Wing-Heier said the filings of insurers outside the marketplace are not yet complete.
Under the law, she said, the filings are considered confidential until their effective date of Jan. 1, 2015.
ASSOCIATED PRESS | DIVISION APPROVES HEALTH PLAN RATE HIKES
ALASKA DIVISION OF INSURANCE | ALASKA HEALTH INSURANCE RATES TO INCREASE SUBSTANTIALLY DUE TO OBAMACARE
The Nebraska Department of Insurance has posted to its website a sample rate comparison chart for health insurance plans that are expected to be sold on the federally facilitated marketplace. The four companies that will be participating in the federally facilitated marketplace are CoOportunity Health, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, Coventry Health of Nebraska and Time Insurance Company. The rates shown are subject to review by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO). The rates that are being displayed are for educational purposes only and do not include every age or every possible situation that may be applicable to every person. The rate comparison chart is available on the Department’s website at: http://www.doi.nebraska.gov/aca/consumer/2015RateScenarios.pdf
STATE OF NEBRASKA – DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE | PRELIMINARY ACA PLAN RATES RELEASED
2015 individual carriers were announced for the NY State of Health Marketplace.
NEW YORK STATE – DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL SERVICES | SUPERINTENDENT LAWSKY ANNOUNCES SETTING OF 2015 HEALTH INSURANCE RATES FOR NEW YORK, INCLUDING RATES FOR HEALTH BENEFITS EXCHANGE
There will be six issuers of qualified health plans (QHPs) in the federally-facilitated individual marketplace for 2015.
“In the second year of the federal exchange, carriers have adjusted their rates to adequately reflect their utilization costs, comply with federal rules on medical loss ratios and reflect revisions to their provider networks,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak.
OKLAHOMA INSURANCE DEPARTMENT | HEALTH INSURERS SUBMIT EXCHANGE RATES FOR 2015
90 health plans from 10 insurers approved to offer individual plans through Washington’s Exchange next year.
WASHINGTON STATE OFFICE OF THE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
08.27.2014 | 90 health plans approved for next year’s Exchange with a record low 1.9 percent rate change
08.27.2014 | Individual Exchange Market: 2015 approved plans by carrier and metal level
OCI has reviewed filings from fifteen (15) insurers who have requested their plans be certified as a qualified health plan (QHP) in the individual market and ten (10) insurers who have filed plans to participate in the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchange.
13 companies sold individual exchange plans in 2014. The two new companies are All Savers Insurance Company, owned by UnitedHealthcare Services, and Managed Health Services Insurance Corporation.
Nine companies sold coverage to small businesses in 2014. All Savers is the only new company intending to sell through the exchange.
WISCONSIN OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INSURANCE | WISCONSIN COMPLETES FILING REVIEWS
THE WASHINGTON TIMES | 15 INSURANCE COMPANIES WANT TO SELL ON EXCHANGE