Caroline's Feed
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.

May 20, 2013

Actavis to buy Warner Chilcott in $5 billion stock deal

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Generic drugmaker Actavis Inc, itself the subject of takeover speculation, said on Monday it would buy specialty pharmaceutical company Warner Chilcott Plc for $5 billion in stock to expand its branded drug portfolio, lower taxes and increase profits.

Warner Chilcott brings a portfolio of branded women’s health pharmaceuticals, such as the contraceptive patch to Actavis, which makes and sells drugs that are no longer under patent protection.

May 17, 2013

Two states say 2014 Obamacare insurance costs on low side

By Sharon Begley and Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – In a boost for President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law, two states in the Northwest said on Friday that insurance companies submitted applications to sell policies on the states’ health insurance exchanges at rates well below what some insurance executives had predicted.

The insurance marketplaces are a key element of the reform law, which is due to take full effect in 2014. A core principle of these exchanges is that competition, along with government subsidies and other measures, will keep rates affordable.

May 9, 2013

Kentucky governor announces Medicaid expansion under Obamacare

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Kentucky Democratic Governor Steve Beshear said on Thursday he will expand Medicaid coverage under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law, a move that will cut the state’s uninsured population almost in half.

The expansion will extend coverage to adults earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line, providing public health assistance to more than 300,000 people.

May 7, 2013

Tenet hospitals see role in signing up Americans for Obamacare

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Tenet Healthcare Corp (THC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sees its hospitals playing a role in signing up uninsured Americans for President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul, particularly in states that are balking at implementing the reform.

Tenet runs hospitals mainly in Texas and other Southern states, which have high proportions of uninsured people. It expects improvements in its business next year as more Americans obtain coverage either through subsidized insurance exchanges in each state or an expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor.

May 6, 2013

Cigna plans to sell health insurance on five public exchanges

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Cigna Corp (CI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plans to sell insurance in five public health exchanges in 2014 as part of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform, its top executive said on Monday.

The company will offer health plans to about a dozen metropolitan regions in Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Arizona and Colorado, Chief Executive David Cordani said in an interview on Monday.

May 2, 2013

Big US insurers wary of entering new Obamacare markets

NEW YORK, May 2 (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 Oct. 1 to enroll millions of Americans who have not been able
to buy coverage on their own.