Caroline's Feed
May 2, 2013

Analysis: Big insurers wary of entering new Obamacare markets

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The nation’s largest health insurers are far from leaping at the chance to join new state health insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama’s reform law, making it likely that some markets will have little or no competition next year.

These new insurance marketplaces are due to open their doors on October 1 to enroll millions of Americans who have not been able to buy coverage on their own.

May 1, 2013

Humana doubles profit and raises 2013 view

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Humana Inc (HUM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said its quarterly profit more than doubled as customers used medical services less than expected, so the company had to pay fewer claims. Humana also raised its profit forecast for the year.

Shares in the health insurer rose 5 percent to $77.82, leading increases for industry peers who have also beat Wall Street expectations before a major overhaul of the healthcare system under President Barack Obama.

Apr 30, 2013

Aetna said lower costs, higher premiums boosted profit

April 30 (Reuters) – Aetna Inc on Tuesday reported a
first-quarter profit that beat analyst expectations as customers
used medical services lightly and revenue in the health
insurer’s Medicare and Medicaid businesses rose 7 percent due to
higher premiums.

The company forecast increases in enrollment and raised its
2013 profit projection to account for its better first quarter.
It also added in the negative effects of government cuts to
payments for the Medicare health plan for the elderly.

Apr 25, 2013

Boston Scientific says on path to growth

April 25 (Reuters) – Medical device maker Boston Scientific
Corp reported better-than-expected first-quarter results
on Thursday, which the company said will put it on the path to
return to growth.

Medical device makers have been struggling with weak sales
for the last several years as people lost their jobs and health
insurance, prompting them to delay medical procedures, and as
cash-strapped governments around the world have cut spending on
healthcare.

Apr 24, 2013

WellPoint profit beats, execs plan for health reform

April 24 (Reuters) – WellPoint Inc’s quarterly
profit came in far above Wall Street expectations, helped by
expansion of individual health insurance plans and Medicaid
membership, as well as lower medical costs from plans sold to
small businesses.

Shares of WellPoint, the second-largest U.S. health insurer,
were up 5 percent on Wednesday afternoon, leading increases for
the sector. The Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payor Index was
up 1.2 percent.

Apr 18, 2013

UnitedHealth says large customer switches to fee-based plan

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the largest U.S. health insurer, said on Thursday that a major public-sector customer had switched to a fee-based insurance service in the first quarter from a full-risk plan and lowered its 2013 revenue outlook.

UnitedHealth, which said that first-quarter profit fell, cut its 2013 revenue expectation by $2.5 billion to $122 billion.

Apr 9, 2013

Insight: Insurers see promise in pay-for-performance health plans

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Insurers and doctors are testing a way to pay for healthcare that has been more common in the corporate suite than the emergency room – paying for better performance, betting it is the key to controlling runaway costs.

Both private insurance plans and Medicare plans in hundreds of locations around the country are using incentives to try to cut healthcare spending and still keep Americans healthy.

Apr 9, 2013

U.S. insurers see promise in pay-for-performance health plans

APRIL 9 (Reuters) – Insurers and doctors are testing a way
to pay for healthcare that has been more common in the corporate
suite than the emergency room – paying for better performance,
betting it is the key to controlling runaway costs.

Both private insurance plans and Medicare plans in hundreds
of locations around the country are using incentives to try to
cut healthcare spending and still keep Americans healthy.

Mar 20, 2013

Walgreen to buy stake in AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal loses out

March 19 (Reuters) – Walgreen Co and partner
Alliance Boots said on Tuesday they signed a 10-year
deal with AmerisourceBergen that will include daily drug
distribution, enabling Walgreen to increase its sales of pricey
specialty drugs.

Walgreen, the nation’s largest drugstore operator,
distributes more than 80 percent of its own drugs, but over time
most if not all of that distribution will be handled by
AmerisourceBergen.

Mar 19, 2013

Walgreen to take stake in AmerisourceBergen, drops Cardinal

By Caroline Humer and Jessica Wohl

(Reuters) – Walgreen Co and partner Alliance Boots said on Tuesday they signed a 10-year deal with drug distributor AmerisourceBergen and may buy up to 23 percent of the company, worth $2.5 billion at the current stock price.

AmerisourceBergen, which said the contract is worth $28 billion in fiscal 2014, will replace Cardinal Health Inc, whose distribution contract with Walgreen’s ends in August. Cardinal shares fell 7 percent.