Health Insurance

IU embraces medical homes to cut costs

October 3, 2011
J.K. Wall
Indiana University announced a partnership with the Indianapolis-based IU Health hospital system that will launch four primary care clinics in Bloomington, which can be visited for no extra charge by those enrolled in IU’s health plans.
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PANEL: Reforms to rapidly reshape health careRestricted Content

October 1, 2011
Reform-induced changes dominate health care panel of health care experts convened by Indianapolis Business Journal.
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Will ACOs really get off the ground?

September 19, 2011
J.K. Wall
The hype over accountable care organizations—something every major hospital in Indianapolis is moving to become—is increasingly being laced with skepticism as the economics behind the idea get more scrutiny.
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Study spoils common wisdom on health spending

September 12, 2011
J.K. Wall
The Thomson Reuters study that showed Anderson as the highest-spending health care market in the nation also concluded that treatment and spending vary widely from one locale to another with no clear reason based on demographics or health outcomes.
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Anderson's GM culture, poor health blamed for high medical costsRestricted Content

September 10, 2011
J.K. Wall
Residents of the Anderson area—when they paid with health insurance provided by an employer—spent 76 percent more on health care in 2009 than the average American with employer health insurance, highest among all metropolitan areas in the nation.
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Five individual insurers leaving Indiana

August 8, 2011
J.K. Wall
Hartford-based Aetna Inc. and Philadelphia-based Cigna Corp., the nation’s third- and fifth-largest health insurers respectively, have announced their departure from Indiana’s individual health insurance market.
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WellPoint fails to profit on consumer pullback

August 1, 2011
J.K. Wall
With recession-weary Americans going to the doctor less, health insurer WellPoint Inc. should be enjoying higher profits. But it isn’t working out that way.
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Consumers grow allergic to health care costs

August 1, 2011
J.K. Wall
Deloitte found that 20 percent of consumers have cut back on health care spending and 75 percent say the economic slowdown has had some impact on their willingness to spend on health care.
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WellPoint profit falls but exceeds Wall Street expectations

July 27, 2011
J.K. Wall
Indianapolis-based WellPoint earned $702 million in the latest quarter after earning $722 million a year ago. It also raised its full-year profit forecast.
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WellPoint insures two-thirds of Hoosier workers

July 25, 2011
J.K. Wall
Indianapolis-based WellPoint claimed 63 percent of all employees covered by small-group employers and 66 percent of the workers at large-group employers, according to Seattle-based actuarial firm Milliman Inc.
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Not-for-profits vying with WellPoint may get $3.8B in loans

July 18, 2011
Bloomberg News
Not-for-profits that compete with insurers such as WellPoint Inc. are eligible for $3.8 billion in U.S. financing under the health law, and the government expects more than a third of the loans not to be repaid.
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Exchange could snag 1.1M Hoosiers

July 18, 2011
J.K. Wall
An estimated 1.1 million Hoosiers will obtain health insurance through a yet-to-be-created online exchange, according to the latest estimates from the task force guiding Indiana’s response to the 2010 health reform law.
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CBO: No great savings from health reform

July 18, 2011
J.K. Wall
Don’t expect the health reform law to tame health care costs. That’s the conclusion of the director of the Congressional Budget Office, who also suggested some of the simplest ways to moderate costs would be to roll back some of its key provisions.
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More employers put faith in health savings accountsRestricted Content

July 16, 2011
J.K. Wall
Sizable Indianapolis companies like the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, consumer-ratings service Angie’s List, Marsh and Wilhelm Construction have switched to consumer-directed health plans. There’s some evidence nationally that the trend is set to accelerate.
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Study: Medicaid better than nothing

July 11, 2011
J.K. Wall
Health care reform will add roughly 500,000 Hoosiers to the Medicaid program and, in spite of great criticism of that expansion, a new study suggests Medicaid coverage does help consumers get more care, have fewer unpaid bills and feel better.
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Employers face messy decision to drop health insuranceRestricted Content

July 9, 2011
J.K. Wall
Companies that drop insurance coverage could, without spending any more money than they are now, give workers an 11-percent raise or else help them save as much as $2,000 per year buying health coverage in one of the exchanges, IBJ calculations show.
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STUMPP: Docs' loss of independence driving up health care costsRestricted Content

July 9, 2011
Don Stumpp / Special to IBJ
The fact is that hospitals are paid three to four times for physician ancillary services.
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Hoosiers in line for $30M in rebates

May 31, 2011
J.K. Wall
Only 19 of the 63 companies writing individual health insurance policies in Indiana have been meeting the new 80-percent medical-loss threshold of the health care reform law, potentially triggering a refund for customers.
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Health insurers lose push to ease rate review

May 20, 2011
Bloomberg News
U.S. insurers led by WellPoint Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc. failed to get federal regulators to change a rule in the 2010 health-care overhaul that triggers a review of any premium increases exceeding 10 percent.
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Reform could create more 'boutique' doctors

May 14, 2011
J.K. Wall
Health reform could accelerate trend toward two tiers of care, with concierge services like Dr. Matt Priddy offers at the top and long waits and minimal attention at the bottom.
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MANTOOTH: Companies bogged down by employees' poor healthRestricted Content

May 14, 2011
The problem is, too many people make unhealthy choices and the consequences of these choices become everyone’s problem.
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Firms' faith in stock buybacks not always well-placedRestricted Content

May 7, 2011
Greg Andrews
The ultimate test of whether buybacks are good deals for shareholders hinges on whether the price paid for the stock proves over time to have been a bargain or inflated.
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Anthem: Global payments coming back

April 25, 2011
J.K. Wall
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s vision for accountable care organizations foresees doctors and hospitals shifting to global capitation payments and employers getting bigger discounts if they allow their workers access only to health care providers in a specific organization.
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WellPoint gets vote of confidence

March 30, 2011
J.K. Wall
Health reform will make health insurance a less-profitable business, but WellPoint Inc. got a vote of confidence from bond analysts because health-reform rules have turned out milder than expected and WellPoint’s financial performance has been particularly strong as the economy recovers.
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Q&A

March 30, 2011
J.K. Wall
Susan Rider is an employee-benefits account manager at Indianapolis-based Gregory & Appel Insurance. On July 1, she will become president of the Indiana State Association of Health Underwriters. She spoke about the first-year impact of the 2010 health reform law and further changes to come.
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  1. I still don't understand how the FBI had any right whatsoever to investigate this elderly collector. Before the Antiquities Act it was completely legal to buy, trade or collect Native American artifacts. I used to see arrow heads, axes, bowls, corn grinders at antique shops and flea markets for sale and I bought them myself. But that was in the late 60's and early 70's. And I now know that people used to steal items from sites and sell them. I understand that is illegal. But we used to find arrow heads and even a corn grinder in our back yard when I was a child. And I still have those items today in my small collection.

  2. I lived in California and they had many of the things noted in the proposed suggestions from the "Blue Ribbon Panel". California is near financial collapse now. Let's not turn the great state of Indiana into a third world dump like California.

  3. The temporary closure of BR Avenue will get a lot of attention. But, one thing reported by the IndyStar really stands out to me, and is extraordinarily depressing: “Police also have agreed to crack down on noise violations, traffic violations and public intoxication.” In other words, the police have generously agreed to do their jobs (temporarily, at least), instead of just standing around waiting for someone to call 911. When is someone in this department going to get off their fat arse (looking at you, Chief), get their minds out of 1975-era policing and into 2014, and have his department engage in pro-active work instead of sitting around waiting for someone to be shot? Why in the hell does it take 7 people getting shot in one night in one of the city’s biggest tourist destinations, to convince the police (reluctantly, it would appear) that they actually need to do their f’n jobs? When is the Chief going to realize that there’s a huge, direct, proven correlation between enforcing the law (yes, all laws, especially those affecting quality of life) and preventing larger crimes from occurring? Is it racial BS? Is that what this extraordinary reluctance is all about? Is the department and the city terrified that if they do their jobs, they might offend someone? Whom, exactly? Will the victims of violence, murder, assault, rape, robbery, and theft be offended? Will the citizens who have to tolerate their deteriorating quality of life be offended? Will the businesses who see their customers flee be offended? Or, is it simple ignorance (maybe the Chief hasn’t heard about NYC’s success in fighting crime - it’s only the biggest g*&#am city in the country, after all)? Either way, Chief, if you don’t want to do your job, then step down. Let someone who actually wants the job take it.

  4. I thought Indiana had all the funding it needed for everything. That's why the state lottery and casino gambling were allowed, as the new tax revenue would take care of everything the state wanted to do.The recommendations sound like they came from California. Better think about that. What is the financial condition of that state?

  5. I was a fan of WIBC in the morning, Steve was the only WIBC host that I listened too, he gave the news with so much flare that I enjoyed listening to him on my way to work. Katz is no Steve. Sadly, I will not be listening to WIBC anymore.

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