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Editorial: Don't shed tears for health insurers

Editorial: Don't shed tears for health insurers

By Merrill Goozner  |  July 23, 2016

A superficial reading of the latest headlines about the health insurance industry suggests it is facing serious problems, but the steady drumbeat of bad news for insurers is showing up everywhere except in the finances of the major carriers.

Insurers will consolidate even if mega-mergers fail

Insurers will consolidate even if mega-mergers fail

By Bob Herman  |  July 23, 2016

Even if the feds bury Anthem's acquisition of Cigna and Aetna's Humana deal, the big five health insurers are likely to forge new transactions to scale up and improve their position at the bargaining table with consolidating hospitals and systems.

Humana dumps ACA plans as feds blast its Aetna deal

Humana dumps ACA plans as feds blast its Aetna deal

By Bob Herman  |  July 21, 2016

Just as the U.S. Justice Department formally moved to block the merger between Humana and Aetna, Humana said it is significantly reducing its individual health plans sold on and off the Affordable Care Act's exchanges.

Why the Justice Department rejected the Aetna and Anthem deals

Why the Justice Department rejected the Aetna and Anthem deals

By Bob Herman  |  July 21, 2016

The government argues both transactions would “substantially lessen competition in numerous markets around the country.” The result, antitrust regulators said, would lead to “higher prices and reduced benefits” for consumers. Both companies plan to challenge the DOJ in court.

Aetna, Anthem mega-deals appear headed for trouble

Aetna, Anthem mega-deals appear headed for trouble

By Bob Herman  |  July 19, 2016

The U.S. Justice Department is likely to file lawsuits this month to block Anthem's $53 billion acquisition of Cigna Corp. and Aetna's $37 billion deal for Humana, Bloomberg first reported Tuesday, citing anonymous sources.

CMS updates rule allowing claims data to be sold

CMS updates rule allowing claims data to be sold

By Joseph Conn and Adam Rubenfire  |  July 01, 2016

Data mining of patient medical records kept by the federal government will get a boost by the CMS, following the release of finalized changes to the so-called Qualified Entity Program.

California OKs Aetna deal, but will Anthem merger be nixed?

California OKs Aetna deal, but will Anthem merger be nixed?

By Bob Herman  |  June 25, 2016

Aetna's acquisition of Humana is creeping toward the finish line, getting an approval early last week from one of California's health insurance regulating bodies. The insurer's approval process stands in stark contrast to Anthem's purchase of Cigna Corp.

Meet the Medigap players

By Bob Herman  |  June 25, 2016

Many of the largest carriers sell Medicare supplemental insurance. UnitedHealthcare, the health insurance unit of UnitedHealth Group, dominates the Medigap market because of its relationship with AARP.

Senators push Justice Department to halt health insurance mergers

By Bob Herman  |  June 22, 2016

Seven Democratic U.S. senators—including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut—have urged the U.S. Justice Department to block the pending health insurance mega-mergers in one of the strongest stances to date against the deals.

Under construction: Risk-based reimbursement

Under construction: Risk-based reimbursement

By Dave Barkholz  |  June 18, 2016

The CMS says it's well on its way to dragging hospital systems into the brave new world of risk-based contracting. The systems say, not really.

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