Health Insurance

Insurer competition stiffens, but tax credits may shrink, on Obamacare exchangesRestricted Content

September 6, 2014
J.K. Wall
When Hoosiers start shopping on the Obamacare exchanges again in November, they’ll find new, lower-priced competitors and modest price increases that are much lower than insurers initially proposed. But that doesn’t mean they’ll save money.
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Online insurance brokerage sets sights on Indiana

July 21, 2014
J.K. Wall
Obamacare could, according to some health insurance experts, cause most small businesses to end their group health plans. Now a new venture-backed company opening up shop in Indiana is trying to make that prediction a reality.
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Obamacare generates windfall for insurersRestricted Content

July 5, 2014
J.K. Wall
Obamacare’s tax credits are pumping nearly $400 million into the coffers of health insurers in Indiana this year, according to data released by the federal government and the insurance companies.
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Employers scramble to deal with same-sex marriage

June 26, 2014
J.K. Wall
Nine out of 10 Hoosier employers do not offer benefits to same-sex partners, meaning many might need to change their policies after a federal judge on Wednesday declared same-sex marriage legal in Indiana.
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Insurance changes put state's autism industry on edge

June 14, 2014
J.K. Wall
Indiana's autism therapists say their prospects are cloudy after the state’s largest health insurer, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, cut payments 40 percent and took a harder line on paying for therapy for school-age children.
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Providers increasingly joining health insurance game

June 7, 2014
J.K. Wall
When the next enrollment season opens for the Obamacare exchange in Indiana, more than half the “health insurers” will actually be doctors and hospitals.
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Teamwork transforming care at IU Health's Saxony hospitalRestricted Content

May 31, 2014
J.K. Wall
Getting everyone into the same room prior to surgeries is cutting costs and improving health.
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Hospitals rethinking a la carte pricingRestricted Content

April 26, 2014
J.K. Wall
Indianapolis hospitals have begun to offer joint replacement surgeries to employers and insurers using “bundled prices.” That means, instead of billing piecemeal for each individual service and supply, the hospitals wrap everything needed from just before to just after surgery into a package deal.
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Indiana insurers must make best guesses on 2015 price hikes

April 10, 2014
J.K. Wall
Health insurers such as WellPoint Inc. that plan to hike prices on their Obamacare policies more than 10 percent in 2015 will have a much harder time than usual making their case to regulators.
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WellPoint spending millions in California ballot battle

April 9, 2014
Bloomberg News
WellPoint Inc. is leading companies that have poured $13.4 million into defeating a ballot initiative that would give California regulators the power to reject increases in health policy premiums.
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Hospitals might chip in to expand Medicaid

April 5, 2014
J.K. Wall
If Indiana hospitals want an expansion of insurance coverage for low-income Hoosiers, Gov. Mike Pence thinks they should contribute toward the hundreds of millions of dollars it would cost.
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Anthem, Franciscan sign accountable care contract

March 15, 2014
J.K. Wall
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has signed a new kind of contract with the Franciscan Alliance hospital system that allows Franciscan to make more money only if it saves money for Anthem.
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WellPoint getting unexpected competition from co-ops

March 13, 2014
Bloomberg News
Obamacare opponents predicted early on that insurance co-ops created by the law would fail, but several are doing well by combining low premiums with a certain homespun appeal.
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Indiana’s hospitals face Obamacare timing problem

February 24, 2014
J.K. Wall
The Obama administration's delays of Obamacare's employer mandate penalties mean it will be another year or two before hospitals see the additional revenue the law was supposed to bring them.
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Analysts say health care law means fewer on job

February 4, 2014
Associated Press
Several million American workers will cut back their hours on the job or leave the nation's workforce entirely because of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, congressional analysts said Tuesday.
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New tiered network trips up IU Health, UnitedHealthcare talks

January 27, 2014
J.K. Wall
In spite of offers to strike a short-term extension, UnitedHealthcare and Indiana University Health are still hung up in contract negotiations on one key point: Minnesota-based UnitedHealthcare wants to create a multi-tiered network of providers and services that would offer the lowest co-pays and deductibles for favored hospital systems—which IU Health is not.
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With website on mend, Obamacare enrolls 2 million so far

December 30, 2013
Associated Press
The windfall comes at a critical moment for health care reform, which becomes "real" for many Americans on Jan. 1 as coverage through the insurance exchanges and key patient protections kick in.
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NEWSMAKERS: Joe Swedish

December 28, 2013
J.K. Wall
When Joe Swedish was named the next CEO of WellPoint Inc., investors frowned. At first.
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Insurance bargain-hunters might miss out on subsidiesRestricted Content

December 7, 2013
J.K. Wall
Hoosiers who sign up for “zero premium” health insurance in the new Obamacare exchanges might end up leaving thousands of dollars on the table. An estimated 250,000 uninsured Hoosiers could qualify for health insurance in the Obamacare exchanges that would cost them nothing—at least upfront.
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IU Health gears up to take on insurers

November 30, 2013
J.K. Wall
Indiana University Health, already the state’s largest hospital system, is now ramping up to compete against Anthem, UnitedHealthcare and other health insurers.
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UnitedHealthcare pulls back from niche

November 23, 2013
J.K. Wall
Come January, UnitedHealthcare, the second-largest health insurer in Indiana, will have no major-medical policies to sell to individual Hoosier customers.
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Obama allows customers to keep canceled policies

November 14, 2013
Associated Press
Bowing to pressure, President Barack Obama on Thursday announced changes to his health care law to give insurance companies the option to keep offering consumers plans that would otherwise be canceled.
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Pence's Obamacare angst may cost stateRestricted Content

November 9, 2013
J.K. Wall
Even though Obamacare will raise various taxes to subsidize the cost of expanding health insurance coverage, Indiana might say no to all its new funding, to the tune of $1.2 billion per year. That also means the state would say no to a reduction by more than half of the 810,000 Hoosiers that go without health insurance for a time each year.
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State: It’ll be Christmas before we can talk to Obamacare website

November 4, 2013
J.K. Wall
Indiana officials don't expect HealthCare.gov to be able to share individual account information with the state’s Medicaid computer systems until the end of the year.
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Health law fuels modest rise in costs

October 26, 2013
J.K. Wall
It’s long been known that Obamacare would make health benefits more expensive for most employers. Now, it’s finally becoming clearer by how much: about 9 percent, on average, according to a series of actuarial studies.
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