Insurance News

Research Roundup: Comparing Profit And Nonprofit Hospice Care; Hospital Mortality And Spending; High-Deductible Insurance Plans

Journal of the American Medical Association: Association Of Hospice Agency Profit Status With Patient Diagnosis, Location of Care, and Length of Stay – "The current Medicare Hospice Benefit reimburses hospices at a fixed per diem rate that does not consider the patient's diagnosis, location of care, or hospice LOS [length-of-stay]," and as such, "profit can be more...

Does Trend Toward Consolidation Risk Health Care Cost Controls?

The Fiscal Times: Monopolies Threaten Health Care Cost Controls Beyond the legal challenges, a major new hurdle is emerging for the health care reform law. Recent studies show that the major players in the health care marketplace – insurers, hospitals and physician practices – are consolidating, which increases the likelihood they will collude on prices charged to more...

Obama Administration Contemplates Requirement That Insurers Offer Free Contraceptives

The New York Times: Officials Consider Requiring Insurers To Offer Free ContraceptivesThe Obama administration is examining whether the new health care law can be used to require insurance plans to offer contraceptives and other family planning services to women free of charge (Pear, more...

Senate Republicans Pushing For Health Law Repeal Vote Today

The vote will be symbolic because Senate Democrats are confident they can defeat the GOP amendment in a procedural vote. But momentum continues to build regarding an effort to delete a small, revenue-raising provision of the sweeping law, which could cause its own wrinkles. And, as the law's legal arguments continue to bubble up, some lawmakers are beginning to press more...

In-Depth Analysis Of Health Law Decision

News outlet examine how constitutional issues, most notably the Commerce Clause, are central to the health law and its journey to the nation's highest court. Meanwhile, the Associated Press offers insights into Judge Vinson's own experiences with the health system. The Wall Street Journal: Contentious Clause At Heart Of Health-Law ChallengesThe Commerce more...

Federal Judge In Florida Rules Health Law Unconstitutional

With this decision, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson issued the first opinion to strike down the entire health overhaul as various legal challenges to the sweeping measure continue to wind their way to the Supreme Court. The Washington Post: Judge Strikes Down Entire New Health Care LawA federal judge in Florida on Monday became the first to strike more...

First Edition: February 2, 2011

Today's headlines include continuing coverage of Monday's federal court ruling on the health law, with additional analysis about its impact and how stakeholders at the state level, in Congress and in the business community are responding. Kaiser Health News: Defending The Flex Spending AccountsKHN staff writer Jordan Rau, working in collaboration with more...

Many Employers Receive Waivers From Health Law’s Requirements

The Wall Street Journal reports on the many exemptions granted by the federal government. Meanwhile, Politico reports on the Obama administration's pick to head the HHS Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, an office that will be key to the "reform effort." The Wall Street Journal: Waivers From Rules Granted To ManyHundreds of employers have more...

Blue Shield Of California Agrees To Postpone Rate Increase

With this announcement, Blue Shield joins other large California insurers — Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna and PacifiCare — in agreeing to the delay. Los Angeles Times: Blue Shield Agrees to Postpone Rate Increase For 60 DaysAfter initially balking, health insurer Blue Shield of California has agreed to a request by California's insurance commissioner to delay more...

Study: Health Insurers Consolidate Market Power

Meanwhile, Aetna mailed letters Tuesday to notify customers in Colorado that it will be exiting the individual market there. MarketWatch: Few Players In Health Insurance Markets Health insurers are consolidating their market power throughout the nation as nearly two-thirds of U.S. cities are dominated by two carriers and nearly half of all metro areas are more...