Caroline's Feed
Oct 23, 2013

WellPoint holds back on 2014 forecast, cites Obamacare uncertainty

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Health insurer WellPoint Inc (WLP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday said it was not ready to provide profit forecasts for 2014, citing problems launching new insurance plans under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform, sending shares lower.

WellPoint is one of the leading insurers offering health plans on the state-based exchanges created under Obamacare to provide coverage for millions of Americans.

Oct 17, 2013

UnitedHealth sees Medicare payment shortfall, shares drop

Oct 17 (Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc on
Thursday predicted a tough year in 2014 because of government
funding cuts to its private Medicare business, dragging down its
shares and those of its competitors.

UnitedHealth Chief Executive Stephen Hemsley said that
“underfunding” of Medicare Advantage plans for the elderly
cannot be fully offset by the company’s other healthcare
business. UnitedHealth, the largest U.S. health insurer, has
previously said that it plans to withdraw from some markets in
2014 because of these cuts.

Oct 12, 2013

Analysis: Red state or blue, Obamacare pricing seems apolitical

NEW YORK (Reuters) – For Americans who are able to check out new insurance plans launched under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform, the price differences from state to state may be surprising.

Residents of Minnesota, a Democratic-led state, are likely to pay the lowest monthly premiums in the country. Just two states away, some residents of Republican-dominated Wyoming might be surprised to find they will pay among the highest.

Oct 12, 2013

Red state or blue, Obamacare pricing seems apolitical

NEW YORK, Oct 12 (Reuters) – For Americans who are able to
check out new insurance plans launched under President Barack
Obama’s healthcare reform, the price differences from state to
state may be surprising.

Residents of Minnesota, a Democratic-led state, are likely
to pay the lowest monthly premiums in the country. Just two
states away, some residents of Republican-dominated Wyoming
might be surprised to find they will pay among the highest.

Oct 2, 2013

Web traffic, glitches slow Obamacare exchanges launch

By David Morgan and Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Technical glitches and heavy internet traffic slowed Tuesday’s launch of new online insurance exchanges at the heart of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform, showcasing the challenge of covering millions of uninsured Americans.

The opening itself represented a victory for Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement after years of attack from Republican foes and delays in building the technology infrastructure to support sites in 50 U.S. states. It defied a partial federal government shutdown precipitated by Republican efforts to delay the law’s implementation.

Oct 1, 2013

‘The system is down’: Obamacare glitches go public, reasons unclear

NEW YORK, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Blank boxes where security
questions are supposed to appear. Pleas to “be patient.” Error
messages galore. Notices that “the system is busy right now.”
Web pages timing out before they load. Garbled lines of text
riddled with stray question marks.

Technology experts and government officials were stumped
about the reasons for the computer glitches plaguing the Obama
administration’s launch of new health insurance exchanges
. They variously blamed an unexpected deluge of
customers and outright errors that information technology (IT)
teams labored throughout the day to fix.

Oct 1, 2013

Obamacare launch hits early hitch as online traffic snarls up sites

By David Morgan and Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – The U.S. government launched the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare reform on Tuesday, opening new insurance marketplaces across the country for millions of uninsured Americans, but technical glitches prevented early access to many of their websites.

The opening of the state marketplaces, or exchanges, went ahead despite a partial federal government shutdown precipitated by Republican opposition to the healthcare law that deadlocked a spending bill in Congress.

Sep 25, 2013

Obamacare’s average monthly cost across U.S.: $328

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Americans will pay an average premium of $328 monthly for a mid-tier health insurance plan when the Obamacare health exchanges open for enrollment next week, and most will qualify for government subsidies to lower that price, the Obama administration said on Wednesday.

The figure, based on data for approved insurance plans in 48 states, represents the broadest national estimate for how much Americans will pay for health coverage under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law next year. The prices of the new plans are at the heart of a political debate over whether they will be affordable enough to attract millions of uninsured Americans.

Sep 23, 2013

Benefit firms create tremors for insurers in U.S. healthcare shakeup

NEW YORK, Sept 23 (Reuters) – American companies are sending
shockwaves through the healthcare industry by moving a rapidly
growing number of employees onto privately run online exchanges
for their medical coverage.

In a business already bracing for major change because of
President Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms, the decisions are
threatening to shift more power in the market to the benefit
consulting firms opening many of the exchanges.

Sep 20, 2013

Analysis: Benefit firms create tremors for insurers in U.S. healthcare shakeup

NEW YORK (Reuters) – American companies are sending shockwaves through the healthcare industry by moving a rapidly growing number of employees onto privately run online exchanges for their medical coverage.

In a business already bracing for major change because of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms, the decisions are threatening to shift more power in the market to the benefit consulting firms opening many of the exchanges.