Caroline's Feed
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.

Jul 6, 2015

Aetna CEO addresses antitrust concerns over Humana deal

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Aetna Inc’s chief executive said Monday
he was confident an antitrust review of the health insurer’s
proposed purchase of smaller rival Humana Inc would
allow the deal to close in the second half of 2016, seeking to
allay investor concerns.

Mark Bertolini said Aetna had already prepared for possible
divestitures to address overlaps with Humana’s business in the
largest-ever U.S. health insurance deal. The two sides announced
the $37 billion transaction on Friday.

Jun 25, 2015

Obamacare ruling ends threat to U.S. hospitals, insurers

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. hospital and health insurance
industries breathed a collective sigh of relief on Thursday
after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld subsidies for individuals
under President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.

Shares in hospitals surged, with several hitting all-time
highs, on the expectation that patients would be able to
continue paying for services. Health insurer stocks also gained.
Wall Street analysts called the ruling positive for an industry
on the edge of consolidation.

Jun 25, 2015

Obamacare ruling ends threat to U.S. hospitals, shares rally

NEW YORK, June 25 (Reuters) – The U.S. hospital industry
breathed a collective sigh of relief on Thursday after the U.S.
Supreme Court upheld subsidies for individuals under President
Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.

Shares in hospitals surged, with several hitting all-time
highs, as investors cheered that the growing number of paying
customers created by Obamacare would not disappear.

Jun 22, 2015

Anthem confident, but experts see antitrust hurdles to Cigna deal

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. health insurer Anthem Inc (ANTM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Monday dismissed concerns that buying smaller competitor Cigna Corp (CI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) would be considered anti-competitive, even as antitrust experts said the combination would earn regulatory scrutiny.

Any merger could require asset sales and would be complicated by other potential deals in the U.S. healthcare industry, expected to see rapid consolidation. Insurers have emerged from years of changes in health insurance under President Barack Obama’s national healthcare reform law and are seeking now to use scale to trim administrative costs and negotiate lower prices with doctors in their networks.