Caroline's Feed
Jul 18, 2013

UnitedHealth upbeat on growth, copes with Medicare cuts

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted a bigger-than-expected rise in quarterly profit as it enrolled more people in private and government-sponsored health insurance plans and said it expects long-term growth after U.S. healthcare reform takes effect.

Shares rose nearly 6 percent on Thursday as the company said it was “strongly positive” about the future despite near-term challenges tied to decreased funding for its privately run Medicare Advantage health plans for seniors and costs related to President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.

Jul 18, 2013

UnitedHealth second-quarter profit rises, beats expectations

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Thursday reported a bigger-than-expected rise in second-quarter net income as it enrolled more people in private and government-paid health insurance plans and sold more health technology systems.

UnitedHealth reported net income of $1.44 billion, or $1.40 per share, compared with $1.34 billion, or $1.27 per share, a year earlier.

Jul 17, 2013

New York’s individual insurance rates to fall in 2014: governor

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Many New York state residents who buy health insurance next year will most likely see their premiums cut by half as President Barack Obama’s healthcare law creates subsidies that may increase the number of people in this market by the hundreds of thousands.

Information on the state’s rates, which will figure in a national debate over whether “Obamacare” will make health insurance more affordable, was released on Wednesday by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The figures represent some of the biggest discounts seen among a handful of states that have disclosed price information for the plans, which will begin to be offered to consumers on October 1.

Jul 16, 2013

Hospital company HCA says admissions rise, sector shares up

July 16 (Reuters) – HCA Holdings Inc, the largest
U.S. for-profit hospital operator, said on Tuesday that
second-quarter patient admissions rose more than 1 percent,
boosting revenue and profit and pushing up shares in the sector.

The admissions increase, while small, came after a slow
first quarter as HCA and other hospital chains struggled to
attract patients. People are using medical services less
frequently due to rising out-of-pocket expenses for their
insurance plans, or because they have no insurance coverage.

Jul 16, 2013

Hospital company HCA says admissions rise, sector shares up

July 16 (Reuters) – HCA Holdings Inc, the largest
U.S. for-profit hospital operator, said on Tuesday that
second-quarter patient admissions rose more than 1 percent,
boosting revenue and profit and pushing up shares in the sector.

The admissions increase, while small, came after a slow
first quarter as HCA and other hospital chains struggled to
attract patients. People are using medical services less
frequently due to rising out-of-pocket expenses for their
insurance plans, or because they have no insurance coverage.

Jun 25, 2013

Humana’s CEO on the massive undertaking of health reform

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Bruce Broussard took over as chief executive of Humana Inc in January, just in time to steer the health insurer’s entry onto the health insurance exchanges created by President Barack Obama’s reform law.

Humana plans to sell subsidized insurance plans in 14 states, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Kentucky, where it is based, about the same number of states as rivals like WellPoint Inc and Aetna Inc.

Jun 19, 2013

New ‘Obamacare’ exchanges could miss enrollment deadline: GAO

By David Morgan and Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – New health insurance exchanges being set up by the federal government in more than 30 states under President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare overhaul could miss an October 1 deadline for open enrollment, a government report said on Wednesday.

The launch of the exchanges, or marketplaces, which are expected to provide federally subsidized health coverage for 7 million people in 2014 and 22 million by 2016, could determine whether Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement succeeds. The administration will operate exchanges in 34 states, while the remainder operate their own markets.

Jun 13, 2013

Small U.S. insurers fill gaps for weakest state health exchanges

NEW YORK, June 13 (Reuters) – When the state of Mississippi
begins offering subsidized health insurance under President
Barack Obama’s reform law this year, residents will have only
one choice – Magnolia Health Plan – a small insurer little known
in most of the country.

The Obama administration hoped to attract robust competition
in creating the exchanges, and it is counting on millions of
Americans without coverage to sign up for these plans in the
program’s first year.

Jun 11, 2013

Obama administration to drop limits on morning-after-pill

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Obama administration will stop trying to limit sales of emergency contraception pills, making the morning-after-pill available to women of all ages without a prescription.

The U.S. Department of Justice said in a letter on Monday that it planned to comply with a court’s ruling to allow unrestricted sales of Plan B One-Step and that it would withdraw its appeal on the matter.

Jun 7, 2013

President Obama takes health pitch to California after rate row

By Caroline Humer and Deena Beasley

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama will tell Americans they are getting a good deal out of healthcare reform during a trip to California on Friday, where an argument is raging over whether it is living up to its name as the Affordable Care Act.

Support for the reform in California, the nation’s most populous state, is seen as crucial to the success of Obama’s signature domestic policy when millions of uninsured Americans are able to choose health plans beginning on October 1.