Caroline's Feed
Aug 2, 2013

Analysis: In Obamacare rate debate, price gets political

NEW YORK (Reuters) – With the October 1 date for enrollment in the health insurance exchanges being created by Obamacare less than two months away, a war of numbers has been escalating.

Health insurance will cost way less. Or it will cost way more. It depends who you ask.

Aug 2, 2013

In Obamacare rate debate, price gets political

NEW YORK, Aug 2 (Reuters) – With the Oct. 1 date for
enrollment in the health insurance exchanges being created by
Obamacare less than two months away, a war of numbers has been
escalating.

Health insurance will cost way less. Or it will cost way
more. It depends who you ask.

Aug 1, 2013

Cigna profit exceeds expectations; lower costs help

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Cigna Corp, which provides U.S. and overseas health insurance as well as disability and life insurance, reported a second-quarter profit that beat expectations on Thursday as medical costs fell and revenue rose.

A weaker U.S. economy has forced people to cut back on medical services in the past few years, reducing insurers’ payments on claims. Companies like UnitedHealth Group Inc, WellPoint Inc, and Aetna Inc have beaten expectations for the quarter because of this trend.

Jul 31, 2013

Humana profit rises on growth in retail, employer units

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Health insurer Humana Inc said on Wednesday that its second-quarter profit rose 18 percent, helped by low medical costs and growth in both its direct-to-customer division and employer-based insurance unit.

Chief Executive Officer Bruce Broussard said while government cutbacks to private Medicare plans for the elderly planned for 2014 were ‘onerous’, he still anticipates growth in sales of these plans directly to individuals.

Jul 31, 2013

Florida, Georgia say insurance rates to spike under Obamacare

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Florida and Georgia, two states where politicians oppose U.S. President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, said on Tuesday that insurance rates for individuals would rise sharply in 2014 under the reform.

The remarks are part of an increasingly polarized debate over whether “Obamacare” will prove affordable for millions of uninsured Americans when new health plans become available on state-based exchanges as of October 1.

Jul 30, 2013

Aetna profit rises as medical costs stay low

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – U.S. health insurer Aetna Inc reported higher quarterly profits on Tuesday as medical costs in its employer-based and commercial business remained low and it closed on its acquisition of Coventry Health Care.

Aetna Chief Executive Mark Bertolini said he was “increasingly confident” the company would have higher operating earnings in 2014, but warned that Aetna expects lower growth in private Medicare, where the government has cut spending.

Jul 30, 2013

Community Health to buy Health Management for $3.9 billion

By Susan Kelly and Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – U.S. hospital chain Community Health Systems Inc (CYH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Tuesday it would buy smaller Health Management Associates Inc (HMA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for $3.9 billion to increase its base during the overhaul of the country’s healthcare system.

Health Management on Tuesday also disclosed it had received additional subpoenas in a widening federal government investigation of its admissions practices. The troubled company also named a new CEO on Tuesday.

Jul 25, 2013

Boston Scientific signals new growth, shares up 11 pct

July 25 (Reuters) – Boston Scientific Corp on
Thursday reported its first quarter of operating revenue growth
in years and beat analyst expectations for second-quarter
profit, pushing up shares to their highest level in nearly four
years.

Like many medical devicemakers, Boston Scientific has
struggled with weak sales for the last several years as U.S.
consumers lost their jobs and health insurance, leading them to
delay medical procedures. Demand also fell as governments around
the world cut spending on healthcare.

Jul 24, 2013

Insurer WellPoint sees $20 billion Obamacare opportunity

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – WellPoint Inc (WLP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the nation’s second largest health insurer, sees President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform giving a $20 billion boost to its revenue by 2016, led by an expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor and the introduction of subsidized coverage for the uninsured.

WellPoint will be one of the largest players on health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act that will allow consumers to choose subsidized health plans beginning on October 1. It plans to compete on the exchanges in the 14 states where it operates Blue Cross Blue Shield licenses.

Jul 18, 2013

UnitedHealth upbeat on growth, copes with Medicare cuts

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted a bigger-than-expected rise in quarterly profit as it enrolled more people in private and government-sponsored health insurance plans and said it expects long-term growth after U.S. healthcare reform takes effect.

Shares rose nearly 6 percent on Thursday as the company said it was “strongly positive” about the future despite near-term challenges tied to decreased funding for its privately run Medicare Advantage health plans for seniors and costs related to President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.