Insurance

STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: So far, session is all about unearthing new revenueRestricted Content

February 26, 2007
Ed Feigenbaum
Sure, it's a budget session, and one would expect fiscal talk to dominate the discussion. But the one thing that has surprised us so far this year-and we are literally at the midpoint-is just how much the dollar debate has consumed this Legislature. Through the first few weeks of the session, the big sport was picking the over/under on when the relationship between Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) and House Speaker Pat Bauer (DSouth Bend)-and thus between Republicans and Democrats as...
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Making connections: Networking groups help business owners reach outRestricted Content

February 26, 2007
Cory Schouten
Small-business owners know building relationships helps build business. But cultivating strategic connections also takes time-one commodity that's always in short supply. That's where networking groups come in. A growing number of such organizations are working to connect busy business owners so they can trade advice and customer leads in a short span of time. With weekly or monthly meetings, the groups promise a one-stop opportunity to make dozens of contacts that can lead directly to sales. One of the fastest-growing...
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WellPoint banks on the popularity of HSAs: Insurer moves to start bank, offer medical financingRestricted Content

February 26, 2007
J.K. Wall
To do so the Indianapolis-based health insurer is moving to start its own bank, whose initial role will be to hold and manage its customers' health savings accounts. An HSA is a relatively new breed of health insurance that places money-and more responsibility-in consumers' hands. Well-Point bets more and more of its customers will start such accounts in the future. "We expect to see continued strong growth for these products. There is a tremendous amount of interest in the marketplace...
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Damage from hail still being tallied: Premiums may increase, but big jump not forecastRestricted Content

February 26, 2007
J.K. Wall
Hoosier homeowners and motorists could pay more for insurance this year in the wake of last April's hailstorm that produced a nation-leading $1.5 billion in catastrophic claims. But even as insurers continue to pay for new roofs and car body repairs, industry experts say any increase would be less than 10 percent. So far, no insurance companies have formally requested a premium increase due to the hailstorm, according to the Indiana Department of Insurance, although claims continue to roll in....
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NOTIONS Bruce Hetrick: A buck-a-pack increased tax for the health we lackRestricted Content

February 26, 2007
After our Valentine's Day wedding, my bride and I took a few days off for a brief New York City honeymoon. We walked nearly everywhere, used public transportation when we wanted to go farther and bought our food and drink in jam-packed, smoke-free restaurants and bars (the only kind there are in New York, thanks to a several-years-old, levelthe-playing-field, smoke-free workplace law). I liked being able to dine anywhere and everywhere with clean indoor air. I liked the exercise from...
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Snowstorm meant long hours, extra bucks for some: Plowing works as a side gig, but no one's getting richRestricted Content

February 26, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
When the snow started flying during central Indiana's impressive winter storm this month, some residents bought bread and eggs and hunkered down to wait out the white stuff. Others tuned up their trucks and revved their snow blowers in hopes of seeing a lot of green. Many area city and town officials had private contractors on their speed dial-reinforcements who would help clear the foot of snow that fell in the Indianapolis area Feb. 13-14. The workers ranged from a...
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Economic development tops insurance initiatives: Raising money, lowering taxes top legislative agendaRestricted Content

February 26, 2007
Scott Olson
The Indiana Department of Insurance wants to raise almost $2 million by hiking some fees it charges insurers, while still cutting their premium taxes in an effort to attract more companies to the state. The proposals are among several bills lawmakers are mulling that affect the insurance industry this legislative session. House Bill 1570, which would bolster Insurance Department coffers in part to hire more staff, has cleared early hurdles. It sped through both the House insurance and ways and...
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Ohio attorney still unscathed by Conseco lawsuits: Insurer trying to collect $150 million in unpaid loansRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
J.K. Wall
He's held off Conseco's attorneys longer than anyone else. And if he can get to a jury, he's confident he can win. Dennis E. Murray Sr., a colorful trial lawyer from Ohio, likely will be the last man standing in Conseco's 3-1/2-year assault on a group of its former directors and officers who failed to repay hundreds of millions of dollars borrowed to buy Conseco stock. The Carmel-based insurance firm has settled with nine of the 11 borrowers in that...
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Landlords open up to 'riskier' tenants: As foreclosures increase, apartment managers let some credit issues goRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Firms that oversee large, upscale apartment complexes used to be able to set the bar high when reviewing potential tenants' credit histories. Many would turn away applicants with accounts in collections, foreclosures or outstanding medical debts. But even as more people come back to rental housing, landlords are finding they can't be as picky as in the past because more and more Indianapolis-area residents bring with them credit baggage from unpaid medical bills or home foreclosures. "Maybe 70 percent of...
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WFYI Teleplex to make $20 million move: Federal tax credit will help pay for purchase of former Indiana Energy building, renovations, equipmentRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting Inc. will invest $20.1 million to move its WFYI Teleplex up the street into the former Indiana Energy headquarters, a shift that will give the notfor-profit room to grow and breathe new life into an enormous building that's been nearly vacant since 2000. The broadcaster will pay $8.5 million for the four-story, 94,000-square-foot building at 1630 N. Meridian St., and spend $11.6 million on renovations and equipment. Funding will come from a hodgepodge of sources, including...
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Condo project sparks interest in Fletcher Place: Property values rising as Villaggio takes shapeRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
Cory Schouten
Revitalization efforts had been plodding along for years in the triangleshaped historic neighborhood known as Fletcher Place. The slower pace of development gave the neighborhood just southeast of downtown a lower profile than places like Chatham Arch and Lockerbie Square. But Fletcher Place is under the radar no more, thanks to a massive eight-story condo project known as Villaggio at Page Pointe. The 64-unit building-now the neighborhood's tallest structure-looks like it could be in Florida, except its panoramic views capitalize...
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Biz parks looking to regain cachet: Once-hot office spots Keystone, Precedent face more competition, see occupancy slipRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
Scott Olson
The new owners of Keystone at the Crossing and Precedent Office Park-two prominent, but aging, business parks on the city's north side-are undertaking major projects to stay competitive amid a rising glut of office space. Both office complexes became popular corporate addresses after their development in the 1980s and enjoyed near-maximum occupancy throughout much of their history. But vacancy rates at the high-profile parks have begun to climb in recent years. Indianapolis-based commercial real estate investment manager HDG Mansur, on...
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Technology-friendly legislation quietly advances: Bills could spur patent commercialization and moreRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
A handful of bills pending in the General Assembly could have a major impact on Indiana's high-tech sector. Legislation under consideration could stimulate increased commercialization of patented Indiana technology, channel more money toward development of alternative fuels, require regular review of Indiana's certified technology parks, and more. Tech leaders are optimistic about the chances their agenda will be approved. "It's the reason we married up with CICP," said Ron Brumbarger, chairman of TechPoint, a trade association for Indiana high-tech companies....
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BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary: Good legislation to promote good healthRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary Good legislation to promote good health The newly elected and re-elected men and women of the Indiana General Assembly will debate and vote on many issues of importance during the 2007 session. One legislative proposal upon which members of the General Assembly and governor should quickly reach consensus is the proposal put forth in House Bill 1160, authored by Rep. Craig Fry, D-Mishawaka, and Senate Bill 114, authored by Sen. Beverly Gard, R-Greenfield, that would change the...
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Providers have new rules to take on Medicaid fraud: Many companies required to educate employeesRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
Scott Olson
A federal law that took effect Jan. 1 requires hospitals and others serving the Medicaid population to teach their employees how to detect fraud and report it to the government. Medicaid is the joint federal-state program that provides health insurance coverage to the needy and is prone to abuse. In an effort to reduce abuse, the legislation requires companies that do at least $5 million annually in Medicaid business to educate all employees and officers on how to spot fraud....
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Awkward auction of Adesa leaves investors miffedRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
Greg Andrews
The discussions leading to the sale of Adesa Inc. were frenzied and wild. But was the final price-$27.85 a share in cash, or a total of $2.5 billion-as high as it should have been? A disgruntled individual investor says no, and is suing the Carmel-based autoauction firm in hopes of blocking the deal and collecting damages. The suit, filed in mid-January by the Delaware-based law firm Rosenthal Monhait & Goddess, seeks class-action certification. Moreover, two other Adesa shareholders-Royce & Associates...
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Advocacy firms finding business in confused patients: Health care complexities creating new industryRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
Scott Olson
Duane Etienne's role as the leader of a local elder-care agency provides him the benefit of knowing how to navigate the intricacies of the modern medical maze more than most. Yet, the 65-year-old admitted he still had trouble deciphering the fine print on his parents' insurance policies. "It's just too complicated," said Etienne, president of the local CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions. "I work this business every day, and it's complex for me. But I've got people I can go...
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Small-business optimism drops: National business group forecasts slow-but-steady growth in 2007, unlike torrid pace that kicked off last yearRestricted Content

January 29, 2007
Cory Schouten
Small-business owners aren't nearly as optimistic about 2007 as they were heading into last year, thanks to a slowing economy and lower spending rates, a report from the National Federation of Independent Business shows. Still, many small businesses in Indiana and elsewhere expect to grow steadily and add to their work forces in 2007. In the next three months, 14 percent of small businesses plan to create jobs and 26 percent plan to make a capital expenditure, the NFIB says....
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Greetings from Indianapolis SouthRestricted Content

January 22, 2007
NAPLES, Fla.-Here I am more than 1,000 miles from Indianapolis and yet feeling right at home. Seems like everywhere I turn, there are signs of the city. The first night I was here, I ate dinner at a restaurant where six Indianapolis people I know were sitting at the table next to ours. During the course of my stay so far, American United Life Insurance Co. held a board retreat here and the St. Vincent Hospital Foundation threw a fund-raiser...
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Doctor report cards may boost care, pay: New pay-for-performance model prepares for testingRestricted Content

January 22, 2007
Tom Murphy
The designers of a pay-for-performance plan for doctors are about to put their theories to work. The Quality Health 1st of Indiana program will start testing its unique system for measuring performance in the next three months, and it might lead to bonus payments for doctors by the second half of 2007. Big in-state insurers like M-Plan Inc. and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana back the initiative, and several large doctor groups have signed up, too, said...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Our love-hate relationship with globalization boomRestricted Content

January 22, 2007
Patrick Barkey
Our generation didn't invent globalization, but we've certainly moved it to a new level. Even here in the isolated Midwest, it's hard to find a product, a job or a community that hasn't been affected by the high degree of connectivity among customers, businesses, and buyers and sellers of all kinds around the globe. We've enjoyed a cornucopia of incredible new products-from cell phones to flat-screen televisions to microprocessor-laden automobiles-that have had many or all of their principal parts made...
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Governor still has lots of differences with DemsRestricted Content

January 22, 2007
Ed Feigenbaum
After saluting the accomplishments of the past year, Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels reached across the aisle during his State of the State Address Jan. 16 and assured Democrats that he can't make further progress without their cooperation. Once again, the governor found himself competing for the TV audience of Hoosiers at home. In what seems to be a given of sorts, the Indiana University men's basketball team was playing during the speech, taking on Hoosier hero Steve Alford's University of...
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VIEWPOINT: Let's improve the health of working poorRestricted Content

January 15, 2007
Sue Anne
On a cold and rainy day and wearing only a thin jacket, Maria walked eight miles to get help. She was pregnant and seeking prenatal care. Her husband had deserted her. The pervasiveness of unemployed and working-poor families presents a growing challenge. Most are underinsured or have no health insurance at all. That means our charity-care system is stretched to the maximum. One north-side center that provides care for the uninsured and underinsured has seen a 15-percent increase in patients...
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New hospital endures rough start in Bloomington: Leader says Monroe Hospital expected potholesRestricted Content

January 15, 2007
Tom Murphy
A cash-flow squeeze and a shortage of baby deliveries caused Monroe Hospital to stumble after its October launch. But the leader of Indiana's newest general service hospital envisions a full recovery. The $39 million, doctor-owned hospital in Bloomington recently dropped childbirth services due to lack of deliveries, CEO Dean Melton said. Monroe also struggled with tight finances as it waited more than two months for the first revenue to trickle in. Meanwhile, a founding physician who has the hospital's road...
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DOING GOOD: PATTY JONES: Different kind of donationRestricted Content

January 15, 2007
Jo Ellen
DOING GOOD PATTY JONES Different kind of donation Patty Jones' free time isn't all that free. Last year, she took on more than 100 assignments as a member of Indianapolis Ambassadors. And that's just for starters. She also volunteered for dozens of activities at Greenwood Christian Church, was treasurer of her neighborhood association and served on the board of Joy's House, a provider of adult day services. "We all have talents and mine help organizations," said Jones, 45, owner of...
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