Health Insurance

Insurers cautious on accountable care

October 6, 2010
J.K. Wall
Health insurers, including locally based WellPoint Inc. and Advantage Health Solutions, have been looking to work with health care providers to form accountable-care organizations. But they also worry that the accountable-care concept will become nothing more than a negotiating tactic by hospitals and doctors.
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Reform will boost health care costs, Indianapolis panel predicts

October 2, 2010
Health care
                           watch videoRising costs aren't the only impact of reform, say panelists taking part in a Power Breakfast sponsored by Indianapolis Business Journal.
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Health overhaul's $264M question weighs down WellPoint

September 22, 2010
Bloomberg News
The failure by state regulators to decide how much insurers must spend on patient care is scaring investors from health-plan stocks and complicating insurance company decisions.
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Barron's: Brighter days ahead for WellPoint

September 8, 2010
J.K. Wall
It’s been a tough year for major health insurers, but Barron’s magazine predicts a big comeback for Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. and its rival UnitedHealth Group.
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Health insurer cash shifts to favor Republicans before election

August 27, 2010
Bloomberg News
Health insurers led by WellPoint Inc. are backing Republicans with campaign donations by an 8-to-1 margin, favoring the party that's promised to repeal President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul if it wins back Congress.
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California OKs Anthem rate hike after controversy

August 25, 2010
Associated Press
The California Department of Insurance said Wednesday it approved a rate increase averaging about 14 percent for Anthem Blue Cross customers. The department also OK'd a nearly 19-percent increase for Blue Shield of California.
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WellPoint, other health insurers race to join accountable care groupsRestricted Content

August 14, 2010
J.K. Wall
The health care industry is responding to reforms that will pay doctors bonuses if they provide high-quality care and save Medicare money.
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WellPoint, peers focus on health reform rules, campaign

August 3, 2010
Bloomberg News
WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and three other health insurers, criticized by Democrats during the health care reform debate, are seeking to influence how the new law will be implemented, and possibly change it, by campaigning for supportive congressional candidates.
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Investors fear insurers' rosy outlook will boost regulators' scrutiny

July 29, 2010
Bloomberg News
Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. became the third U.S. health insurer this month to increase its 2010 profit forecast, stirring investor concern that state and federal regulators may increase scrutiny of industry pricing.
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Hospitals map out ways to bypass insurers

July 17, 2010
J.K. Wall
Clarian Health is launching its own health insurance plan, the boldest of several initiatives at Indianapolis hospitals to bypass health insurers and provide health benefits directly to employers.
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Health reform rule could cost WellPoint

July 7, 2010
J.K. Wall
WellPoint Inc. has about $800 million riding on one arcane rule: how to calculate a medical loss ratio. The ratio quantifies the percentage of customers’ premiums were spent on medical care, rather than overhead or profits.
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Program tying doctor bonuses to quality goes statewideRestricted Content

July 3, 2010
J.K. Wall
The program currently includes 1,200 physicians—about 10 percent of all doctors in Indiana.
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Health care reform bringing changes to Caregivers

July 3, 2010
Scott Olson
Caregivers anticipates coping with declining Medicare reimbursements while having to offer insurance to its employees.
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Connecticut to probe WellPoint security breach

July 2, 2010
Bloomberg News
Attorney general seeks more details on the breach, which may have compromised financial and health information on almost 500,000 people. He also calls on the Indianapolis-based insurer to provide affected customers with credit monitoring and theft protection services.
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Braly's political skirmishes hurting insurer, critics say

June 19, 2010
J.K. Wall
When WellPoint Inc. named Angela Braly its CEO three years ago, it touted her experience dealing with politicians and government regulators. But WellPoint is now the poster child for health insurer bad behavior—credited in Washington with reviving a dead health reform bill the company opposed.
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WellPoint CFO says feds may phase in medical-spending rule

June 16, 2010
Bloomberg News
U.S. regulators may phase in requirements on how much health insurers spend on medical care to avoid pushing plans out of the market for people who buy their own coverage, WellPoint Inc.'s chief financial officer said Wednesday.
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Effective stats are new hurdle for U.S. drugmakers

May 26, 2010
J.K. Wall
WellPoint Inc.'s announcement of comparative effectiveness research guidelines last week marks a new era for U.S. drugmakers. The Indianapolis-based health insurer will use studies that compare the effectiveness of one drug against another as a complement to typical clinical trial research that compares a drug against a placebo sugar pill.
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ER doc is affable WellPoint activist

May 19, 2010
J.K. Wall
Dr. Rob Stone wants the giant health insurer to convert to not-for-profit status and put him, an advocate of national health insurance, on the company's board.
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Buffett bails on WellPoint

May 18, 2010
J.K. Wall
Influential investor sold off all 1.3 million shares in the Indianapolis-based health insurer during the first quarter.
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WellPoint meeting ends abruptly as Bush collapses

May 18, 2010
J.K. Wall
Board member William "Bucky" Bush, uncle of former President George W. Bush, appeared OK after a shortened meeting in which shareholders approved a "say-on-pay" proposal. Protesters gathered outside WellPoint's headquarters after the meeting.
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Study: Quality, costs better at big practices

May 12, 2010
J.K. Wall
As physician mergers increase in Indianapolis, a new study has determined that quality at large, multispecialty practices is at least 5 percent higher and costs are 3.6 percent lower than at small group practices.
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Q&A

May 12, 2010
J.K. Wall
Joe Guzman is a co-founder of Indianapolis-based Ascend USA, the new trade adopted after Guzman merged his benefits brokerage, Benefits Strategies Inc., with benefits business Steven Goodin. The eight-person firm expects to hire as many 15 new employees in the next year. Those workers will help Ascend diversify from health benefits into brokering commercial insurance products.
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Report: WellPoint, Aetna may need relief from cost mandate

May 11, 2010
Bloomberg News
The U.S. health overhaul’s mandate that insurers spend 80 percent of premiums on medical care may need to be loosened to keep companies from quitting the market for people who buy coverage on their own, state regulators said.
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WellPoint, others may need relief from law's spending mandate

May 10, 2010
Bloomberg News
The health law passed by Congress in March will force insurers like WellPoint to give rebates to customers next year if the companies don't meet the medical-spending minimums.
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Braly, Obama spar again over WellPoint cancellation policies

May 10, 2010
J.K. Wall
CEO of Indianapolis-based health insurer wrote to Obama on Sunday to rebut the president's criticism that WellPoint seeks out breast cancer patients to cancel their policies.
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