Caroline's Feed
Jul 31, 2015

Express Scripts excludes 20 more drugs from 2016 coverage

NEW YORK, July 31 (Reuters) – Express Scripts Holding Corp
, the largest U.S. pharmacy benefit manager, said on
Friday that it would exclude about 20 new medications in 2016
from insurance coverage, including two diabetes drugs and a
weight loss drug.

For the past several years, Express Scripts has been
excluding medicines from its coverage list, a reflection of
concern about cost to its health insurers and corporate
customers, it says. The 2016 list includes 80 drugs or medical
items.

Jul 30, 2015

Health insurer Cigna says second-quarter medical costs stay low; profit beats

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Health insurer Cigna Corp, which agreed last week to be bought by Anthem Inc for $47 billion, said on Thursday that medical services use was low in the second quarter, helping to keep costs in check and beat Wall Street profit estimates.

Cigna’s report of a continued low utilization trend backs up a growing industry view of this closely watched component of insurer profitability. Anthem made similar comments on Wednesday, when it reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

Jul 30, 2015

Health insurer Cigna says 2nd-qtr medical costs stay low; profit beats

July 30 (Reuters) – Health insurer Cigna Corp, which
agreed last week to be bought by Anthem Inc for $47 billion,
said on Thursday that medical services use was low in the second
quarter, helping to keep costs in check and beat Wall Street
profit estimates.

Cigna’s report of a continued low utilization trend backs up
a growing industry view of this closely watched component of
insurer profitability. Anthem made similar comments on
Wednesday, when it reported better-than-expected quarterly
earnings.

Jul 29, 2015

Anthem profit beats as medical costs stay at low end of estimates

July 29 (Reuters) – Health insurer Anthem Inc,
which plans to buy rival Cigna Corp for $54 billion, on
Wednesday said medical costs, particularly in its Medicaid and
Medicare businesses, were at the low end of expectations and
helped boost second-quarter profit.

Anthem raised its profit outlook for 2015 and said it
expects health spending to increase at the lower end of a range
of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent this year. It also said that a key
financial measure of medical costs fell during the quarter.

Jul 29, 2015

Health insurer Anthem’s profit beats as Medicaid memberships rise

By Caroline Humer and Amrutha Penumudi

(Reuters) – Health insurer Anthem Inc (ANTM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which plans to buy rival Cigna Corp (CI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for $54 billion, on Wednesday reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as its Medicaid and Medicare businesses grew.

Anthem raised its profit outlook for 2015 and expects health spending growth at the lower end of a range of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent this year.

Jul 28, 2015

U.S. predicts 5.8 pct average rise in healthcare spending through 2024

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. government expects healthcare spending to increase by 5.8 percent annually on average from 2014 through 2024 as more Americans gain insurance coverage and the improved economy drives patients to visit doctors and hospitals.

The aging population’s higher healthcare costs will also push health spending higher starting in 2019, according to a study from the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Jul 27, 2015

Allergan CEO, fresh off one deal, sets sights on others

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Allergan plc CEO Brent Saunders is ready to put the $36 billion his company will net from the sale of its generics business to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd to work, possibly with another large, “transformational” merger.

The readiness for a new transaction just after the Teva deal was announced on Monday represents what Saunders calls a strategy to remain nimble and open to opportunity as the healthcare sector remakes itself.

Jul 16, 2015

UnitedHealth serves up second quarter growth, but no deal

July 16 (Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc, the
largest U.S. health insurer, on Thursday forecast higher profit
and said medical costs were under control, pushing off any
discussion about its role in a frenzy of insurer consolidation.

UnitedHealth is the first of the national health insurers to
report second quarter earnings amid dealmaking in the industry.
Aetna Inc and Humana Inc have recently struck a
deal, and Anthem Inc is in pursuit of Cigna Corp
. UnitedHealth has also been reported to have looked at
Aetna and Cigna.

Jul 10, 2015

States line up to scrutinize Aetna’s $33 billion Humana deal

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. insurance regulators and state attorneys general are lining up to scrutinize Aetna Inc’s proposed $33 billion takeover of rival Humana Inc for potential harm to consumers, complicating what is already expected to be a tough and lengthy review by federal antitrust authorities.

Insurance commissioners in 18 states including Texas, Kentucky and Florida will study merger documents provided by Humana to determine whether the deal will harm competition and lead to higher insurance premiums or diminished access to healthcare providers, according to Reuters interviews with regulators and insurance experts.

Jul 6, 2015

Humana cuts outlook, raising new concerns about Aetna deal

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Humana Inc, fresh from
announcing an agreement to be purchased by larger rival Aetna
Inc, prompted new investor concerns about the $33
billion deal on Monday by lowering its 2015 financial forecasts.

The transaction announced on Friday is already expected to
face a tough review by U.S. antitrust regulators, particularly
if another major deal among health insurers emerges.