Insurance

ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Strong economy draws out plethora of spending plansRestricted Content

September 4, 2006
Patrick Barkey
If you ever want to satisfy your curiosity about recessions and business cycles, travel over to the Web site of the National Bureau of Economic Research. It has recorded and documented every downturn and uptick in the U.S. economy since 1857. And over that century and a half, the bureau has noticed certain regularities to the boom and bust of the economy around us. In the first stages of recovery from a recession, for example, it is quite common for...
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FUNNY BUSINESS: Planetary restructuring hits Pluto where it hurts

September 4, 2006
Mike Redmond
Poor Pluto. One day it was spinning through the galaxy, meandering around the sun at a stately 248.54 Earth years per lap, rotating in the wrong direction as compared to the other planets, minding its own business, and then-Bam! It got downsized, reclassified as a planetelle or planetina or planette, whatever they've decided to call it. Reminds me of some businesses I know. One day everything's A-OK, to use space parlance. Next thing you know, Pluto is putting all the...
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St. Vincent makes bigger investment in charity care: Need drives construction of Primary Care Center set to open in mid-2007Restricted Content

August 28, 2006
Tom Murphy
Here's a lesson they don't teach in business school: Take an entity that loses $4 million annually and expand it 50 percent. That's the plan St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital unveiled earlier this month when it broke ground on a new, larger Primary Care Center serving indigent, underinsured and uninsured patients. That population of poor, mostly Spanish-speaking patients has more than doubled its annual visits since 2000. St. Vincent officials say the new $4 million center is 10 years overdue. Their...
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25A-32A All in the family: Good relationships key to living and working togetherRestricted Content

August 28, 2006
Tammy Lieber
25A-32A All in the family Good relationships key to living and working together The family that plays together stays together, as the old adage goes. But what about the family that works together? Many-if not most-of the estimated 450,000 small businesses in Indiana employ more than one family member, local smallbusiness experts say. In some cases, family involvement might be limited to a spouse who helps out with the books part-time or a child who comes into the office occasionally...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: After CFO's jump to rival, Emmis opts to fight backRestricted Content

August 28, 2006
Greg Andrews
When Emmis Communications Corp. Chief Financial Officer Walter Berger bolted in January for the same post at CBS Radio in New York, the Indianapolis company said little publicly. But it's now apparent Emmis officials were more than a little peeved. In recent weeks, they've filed an arbitration case against Berger in hopes of recouping some of his compensation, and they've sued CBS alleging tortuous interference with his contract. "I think this case is very clear-cut," said David Barrett, vice president...
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Top Conseco executives opt to live in ChicagoRestricted Content

August 28, 2006
Tom Murphy
Jim Prieur makes a great choice for Conseco Inc. CEO, analysts say. But whether his hiring bodes well for the company's Carmel headquarters is a different question. Conseco Chairman Glenn Hilliard said last week that Prieur will live in Chicago when he joins the company next month.
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Database to offer new health stats:Restricted Content

August 28, 2006
WellPoint Inc. is helping to launch Blue Health Intelligence, a resource it bills as the largest private database of health care information. The Indianapolis-based insurer is providing data culled from 14 insurance units-including Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana-to a claims database of 79 million people. That database then will provide "the most detailed view available of health care trends, best practices and comparative costs," according to a statement from the company. The data collection, which will contain...
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PROFILE FIRST JURY INC.: Practice makes perfect Local trial consultants aim to help lawyers prepare for litigationRestricted Content

August 28, 2006
Susan Raccoli
PROFILE FIRST JURY INC. Practice makes perfect Local trial consultants aim to help lawyers prepare for litigation Blame the name. Attorneys could be forgiven if they thought hiring Indianapolis-based First Jury Inc. would get them advice on choosing a jury sympathetic to their clients' cause. But its staff won't tell them to avoid the woman with her arms crossed or the man who won't make eye contact. Instead, they'll assemble a jury of their own and stage a mock trial,...
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Woman sets sights on freedom: Disability isn't keeping shop owner from goalRestricted Content

August 28, 2006
Candace Beaty
Two doors opened for Pam Evans on Aug. 5-one to her own clothing store and the other to her independence. The Cherry Shop represents both to Evans, who lost most of her sight over the course of a weekend in 1998 to a genetic eye disease called angioid streaks. Left with only her peripheral vision, she also lost her career in real estate and corporate sales. After a period of depression, Evans decided she wouldn't lose it all. "I felt...
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State's Medicaid goal: better, cheaper care: FSSA says new approach will boost efficiencyRestricted Content

August 21, 2006
Tom Murphy
Better care through better management. That's the mantra behind the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration's push to limit Medicaid's cost growth to 5 percent annually. The state entity announced this month that it awarded $4.4 billion in contracts to three managed care organizations to provide coverage for pregnant women and children under its Hoosier Healthwise program. Next, Indiana wants to hire care managers to monitor the well-being of every Medicaid recipient in its aged, blind and disabled category. That...
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Strengthened safety net eases strain on insurers: Companies see more manageable contributions under new format to pay ICHIA's lossesRestricted Content

August 14, 2006
Tom Murphy
Indiana's health insurance safety net has pared enrollment and trimmed the industry support it needs by $18 million a year, thanks to reform efforts that started a few years ago. But M-Plan Inc. CEO Alex Slabosky sees an even greater benefit behind the transformation of the Indiana Comprehensive Health Insurance Association: It allowed his company to remain in business. In 2003, M-Plan had to pay $5.9 million to help support ICHIA, a big chunk of change for a company that...
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NOTIONS: A taste of political cynicism served at minimum wageRestricted Content

August 7, 2006
Bruce Hetrick
I eat out a lot. Heck, I eat out more than I eat in. So I'm something of a restaurant whiz. From locals to chains, fast food to fancy fare, I can tell you who serves what, how well and for how much. But until my friend Cheri read a book called "Nickel and Dimed," in which author Barbara Ehrenreich recounts a first-person social experiment working low-wage jobs, I never asked a waiter or waitress about the going rate for...
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Create-a-job program serving disabled threatened: Federal funding cuts could mean early end for options available through customized employment initiativeRestricted Content

August 7, 2006
Andrea Muirragui
Bryan Ballard and Cody Feldman never dreamed they'd end up here, soaking up the sun along Indianapolis' downtown canal, peddling frozen treats from their very own ice cream cart. They certainly never planned to become business partners when they met as adolescents playing Special Olympics basketball. But it happened anyway, thanks to a federally funded program intended to help significantly disabled individuals find work that fits their interests and skills. What makes the so-called customizedemployment effort unusual is its emphasis...
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Gateway shuts the door on benefits enhancement: Indianapolis company will cease operations Aug. 30; CEO hopes to reopenRestricted Content

August 7, 2006
Tom Murphy
Gateway Medical Resource Alliance, a niche health care benefits company, will shut down Aug. 30, more than a month after losing the lone Indianapolis hospital in its network. The company, which has shrunk to six workers, provides employers discounts for certain cardiology, orthopedics and oncology care. In return for fees from the employers, Gateway offers flat, all-inclusive prices for procedures. It also offers prescription and wellness services. CEO Terry Kopp said he still hopes to find another hospital to resuscitate...
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Insurers still dealing with deluge of claims: Good Friday storms among costliest in state historyRestricted Content

August 7, 2006
Scott Olson
Property and casualty insurers are taking a financial beating over the spring hailstorm that pounded homes and vehicles in central Indiana. Damage from the Good Friday deluge resulted in a flood of Hoosier insurance claims: 177,000 so far totaling $560 million, making it one of the costliest weather catastrophes in state history, according to the New Jerseybased Insurance Services Office. Overall, Indiana topped the nation in the total amount of insured losses-$658.5 million-during the second quarter, according to the ISO....
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Let's throw energy into public safety: We ignore crime at our perilRestricted Content

August 7, 2006
When yet another media story appears about jail overcrowding, it's tempting to look away, to focus instead on rising gas prices, out-of-control health insurance costs or other pressing problems confronting your company. But make no mistake: Crime is a business issue. And it is escalating. Major offenses reported to the Indianapolis Police Department through April were up 22 percent over the first four months of 2005. Probably fueling that increase are the growing numbers of inmates being released early from...
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New state rule changes annuity landscape: Indiana regulators place burden on the seller to decide what's right for the buyerRestricted Content

August 7, 2006
Tom Murphy
No 75-year-old retiree should drop his or her life savings into an annuity that imposes a 10-year wait before the first payment. Indiana regulators understand this basic investment rule, and they want to ensure that the people who sell annuities follow it as well. The state Department of Insurance now places the burden of deciding whether an annuity is right for a consumer over age 65 on the seller, thanks to a new rule that started July 1. It requires...
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Workers can help lower health costs:Restricted Content

July 31, 2006
Philip T.
Health care costs keep small-business owners up at night. According to Forbes magazine, the cost of health care is rising at three times the rate of inflation. Because demand for medical treatment will continue to grow as Americans age, insurance premiums will continue to increase. Some small-business owners' first reaction is to shift rising costs to employees. Others simply eliminate health insurance benefits altogether. While this reduces expenses and raises profit in the short term, it ruins a company's ability...
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BIZ BASICS: Use new savings accounts to cover medical expensesRestricted Content

July 31, 2006
Daniel Kehrer
And with no end in sight to the cost crunch, the prognosis is poor. Panicked business owners now cite the rising cost of health insurance as their top concern. They know that workers value their medical coverage, but as owners they feel trapped-they must either pass along rate hikes or cut benefits entirely. A relatively new health plan option offers hope. Health savings accounts work in IRA-like fashion to cover out-ofpocket medical costs with tax-sheltered money. An HSA is an...
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FAMILY BUSINESS: Reorganize family business to treat all children fairlyRestricted Content

July 31, 2006
Eric Manterfield
Many family-business owners have children who work with them in the business as well as children who do not. The challenge they face is simply put: How can they treat fairly those children who will not inherit the business? There may not be enough non-business assets to give to the children who don't work in the business. Life insurance, payable to the non-business children, is sometimes suggested, if the business owner is insurable and the premiums are affordable. Some estate...
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MainSource grabs opportunities for growth: Greensburg-based bank not shy about acquisitionsRestricted Content

July 24, 2006
Scott Olson
Honda Motor Co.'s decision to build a massive auto manufacturing plant near Greensburg has the small Decatur County town abuzz with excitement. But a company already entrenched there is making some noise of its own. MainSource Financial Group Inc. has increased assets an impressive 50 percent during the past year largely due to four acquisitions made by the publicly traded bank holding company. "We're a little opportunistic," admitted MainSource President and CEO James Saner. "We really want to grow, give...
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Investment firm taps local talent: Riderwood opens office, targets mid-size companiesRestricted Content

July 24, 2006
Scott Olson
An East Coast investment-banking firm is opening an Indianapolis office and has recruited three high-profile professionals who bring a wealth of experience to manage operations. Towson, Md.-based The Riderwood Group Inc. wants to help midsize companies raise $5 million to $200 million in capital, a range largely ignored here by outside rivals, firm executives said. "There really is not a national mid-market investment bank [in Indianapolis]," company President Mitchell Fillet said. "This is a place where the big firms have...
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Hitching its wagon to central Indiana: Wells Fargo quietly lassoes big share of local loansRestricted Content

July 24, 2006
Matthew Kish
How big is the portfolio? Very big. How does it stack up to its rivals? Nobody knows for sure. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. requires banks to report the deposits they hold at branches, but it doesn't require banks to spell out how much commercial business they're generating geographically. "It's one of the biggest frustrations of the bank information that we [compile]," said Karen Dorway, president of Bauer Financial Inc., a Coral Gables, Fla.-based bank rating service that tracks market...
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Conseco takes fresh look at product development: New strategy emphasizes shared resources, efficiencyRestricted Content

July 17, 2006
Tom Murphy
Conseco Inc. rolled out a fresh blueprint for product development earlier this year, and it was high time the insurer did so, say analysts who follow the company. The Carmel-based holding company is combining the resources of its subsidiaries and developing a corporate-wide system to pump out products more efficiently for its two main operating segments, Conseco Insurance Group and Chicago-based Bankers Life. It hopes to see results soon. Conseco Insurance Group launched only four new products in 2004 and...
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Indiana midwife debate headed for another round: Committee to study issue; bill set to be reintroducedRestricted Content

July 17, 2006
Tracy Donhardt
A bill that would give women what some say is their right to choose where and how they can give birth has been incubating in the state's General Assembly for eight years. But hopes are running high for the proposed law that would regulate and expand midwifery in Indiana because it will be studied by a special committee this summer for a possible reintroduction in the 2007 legislative session. Under current Indiana law, only doctors and registered nurses are able...
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