Caroline's Feed
Nov 6, 2013

Top U.S. insurer expects Obamacare enrollment extension

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – One of the largest health insurers on the Obamacare online marketplaces said on Wednesday it expects the U.S. government to extend enrollment for new coverage plans because of technical problems that have frustrated millions of potential applicants.

The comments from Humana Inc add to calls from Democratic and Republican lawmakers to wait until it is clear people can sign up for coverage under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, commonly called Obamacare.

Oct 31, 2013

Canceled U.S. health plans are disruptive part of reform -Cigna CEO

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – The hundreds of thousands of Americans whose individual insurance policies will be canceled as Obamacare takes full effect next year are experiencing a disruptive element of healthcare reform, the head of health insurer Cigna said on Thursday.

In the past week, reports of pending plan cancellations have become a political problem for President Barack Obama, who promised years ago as he was pushing to pass the healthcare law that Americans who liked their health plans could keep them.

Oct 31, 2013

Cigna says will increase ’14 profit despite pressures

Oct 31 (Reuters) – Insurer Cigna Corp said on
Thursday it expects to increase its 2014 earnings from 2013,
reflecting its smaller exposure to uncertainty around private
Medicare and the rollout of individual insurance on new
exchanges around the country.

Cigna, which reported third-quarter profit that beat
analysts’ expectations on Thursday, has both a U.S. and overseas
health insurance business and also sells disability and life
insurance.

Oct 29, 2013

Aetna misses profit estimtes, sees challenging 2014

Oct 29 (Reuters) – Aetna Inc on Tuesday missed
analysts’ expectations for third-quarter profit and said 2014
would be challenging because of the uncertain costs of the
health reform law and cuts in government funding for private
Medicare plans.

Aetna Chief Executive Mark Bertolini said that the
state-based individual health insurance exchanges are struggling
with widely reported technology problems and the effect on 2014
enrollment is yet to be seen.

Oct 28, 2013

HealthCare.gov up again after data system crash, may be slow: agency

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The website at the center of the U.S. healthcare reform law was back up Monday after a data center outage prevented Americans from enrolling in subsidized health insurance, the latest technical problem to plague the online insurance exchanges.

The outage, which started before dawn on Sunday, affected not only the federal government’s online exchange, HealthCare.gov, but also those run by 14 states and the District of Columbia, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

Oct 25, 2013

White House says ‘Obamacare’ website will be fixed by end of November

By Caroline Humer and Sharon Begley

(Reuters) – The website for Americans to buy insurance under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law should be working smoothly for most users by the end of November, a White House official assigned to fix Healthcare.gov said on Friday.

Jeffrey Zients told reporters in a conference call that Quality Software Services Inc, or QSSI, will serve as a general contractor to oversee the repairs.

Oct 25, 2013

Frustrated by Healthcare.gov, some consumers buy off exchange

NEW YORK, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Americans hitting roadblocks on
the new U.S. government-run healthcare website have been
contacting insurers directly and enrolling in plans away from
the federal marketplace, representing a lost opportunity for
President Barack Obama’s landmark reform.

Since its launch on Oct. 1, technical problems have stalled
Healthcare.gov, the website meant to help millions of uninsured
Americans sign up for coverage as part of the biggest U.S.
social program since Medicare plans for the elderly launched in
the 1960s.

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.