Health Insurance

Anthem rolling out 401(k)-style medical benefitsRestricted Content

December 1, 2012
J.K. Wall
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana will open a new online exchange to Indiana employers on Jan. 1, where workers could purchase medical benefits from a group of plans using a fixed sum of money given them by their employers.
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Medicaid expansion could cost $54M a year

November 26, 2012
J.K. Wall

A new set of projections released Monday estimates that expanding Medicaid coverage as called for in President Obama’s 2010 health reform law would cost the state government less than $54 million per year on average over the next decade—far lower than projections issued by the actuarial firm hired by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ administration.

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Indiana employers desperate to improve workers' personal habitsRestricted Content

November 24, 2012
J.K. Wall
Skyrocketing health care costs prompt search for new ways to improve lifestyle choices.
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Analyst: WellPoint CEO search down to two

November 19, 2012
J.K. Wall
According to one Wall Street analyst, the search for a new CEO for Indianapolis-based health insurer WellPoint Inc. is down to two candidates: former Aetna Inc. CEO Ron Williams and Amerigroup Corp. CEO Jim Carlson.
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Small biz exposure clouds WellPoint's future

November 12, 2012
J.K. Wall
WellPoint’s average small-employer client has just 8.5 lives covered on its health plan. And firms of that size are far more likely to use the new health insurance exchanges, said WellPoint Chief Financial Officer Wayne DeVeydt.
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Deal provides peek at Anthem's narrow networks

November 5, 2012
J.K. Wall
A new agreement in Wisconsin provides a glimpse of the kind of “narrow network” arrangements that Indianapolis-based Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield might attempt in Indiana.
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Low enrollment clouds Healthy Indiana PlanRestricted Content

November 3, 2012
J.K. Wall
Many Indiana Republicans want to use the Healthy Indiana Plan to expand Medicaid coverage in Indiana to more low-income adults. But the program—which offers health insurance based on health savings accounts to uninsured adults—has managed to attract just one-third of the Hoosiers it was designed for and has cost about twice as much per enrollee as predicted.
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WellPoint reorganizes into four business units

October 11, 2012
Bloomberg News
Separate Medicare and Medicaid divisions each will sell plans for those government-backed insurance programs. Another will handle commercial and individual business, and a specialty unit will provide dental, vision and disability coverage.
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Study: Newly insured to be poorer, less educated

October 8, 2012
J.K. Wall
New health insurance coverage created by the 2010 health reform law will attract a lower-income, less-educated and more diverse set of customers than the insurance markets that exist today, according to a new analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers. And that could create challenges for doctors and hospitals trying to care for those patients.
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Will Medicaid expansion actually work?

October 1, 2012
J.K. Wall
It would be “absurd” and a “travesty” for Indiana not to expand its Medicaid program, according to two local hospital officials. And yet other health care leaders do not expect expanded Medicaid coverage to provide nearly as much help to uninsured Hoosiers as hoped.
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WellPoint likely to go outside for chiefRestricted Content

September 29, 2012
J.K. Wall
While WellPoint Inc. and its predecessors have a history of grooming new CEOs in-house, the next leader of the health insurance giant is likely to be an outsider, according to interviews with more than a half dozen former directors and officers of the company.
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Bill for Medicaid expansion? $516M a year

September 24, 2012
J.K. Wall
If Indiana expands its Medicaid program as called for under President Obama’s health reform law, it likely will hike state spending on the program an extra 13.5 percent—or $516 million annually—by 2020, according to the latest projections from Seattle-based actuarial firm Milliman Inc.
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WellPoint spends $50M to burnish brand

September 17, 2012
J.K. Wall
The Indianapolis-based health insurer expects the purchase of health insurance to look and feel much more like online retailing than ever before, where brand name, along with price and convenience, win the day.
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High-deductible premiums rising, too

September 17, 2012
J.K. Wall
Since 2007, premiums for high-deductible health plans’ family coverage have grown 32 percent—compared with 30 percent among all health plans, according to survey data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
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Cutting bills fuels growth of Health Systems InternationalRestricted Content

August 25, 2012
J.K. Wall
Health Systems is on pace this year for nearly $50 million in revenue, up from $42 million last year and just $4.5 million eight years ago. The Indianapolis company processes claims for health insurers when patients receive out-of-network care.
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Governors aside, feds building health care exchanges

August 7, 2012
Associated Press
The feds may be gaining on GOP governors who've balked at carrying out a key part of the health care overhaul law. Opponents of the law say they won't set up new private health insurance exchanges. But increasingly it's looking like Washington will do it for them.
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Health insurers' anti-fraud bid seeks to ease profit-limit rule

July 27, 2012
Bloomberg News
The Obama administration Thursday announced a partnership with the industry in which WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and other insurers may try to share more billing data with the government to root out fraud.
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Insurance company key to Franciscan-American Health partnershipRestricted Content

July 21, 2012
J.K. Wall
Hospital system's health insurance unit has IT infrastructure that will allow physicians to participate in Medicare's shared savings program.
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WellPoint agrees to pay for 3 children to get gene test

July 12, 2012
Bloomberg News
WellPoint Inc. said it will pay for DNA testing for three children to see if they have an inherited heart disease their father suffers from that often strikes without warning, reversing an earlier decision to deny coverage.
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Q&A

July 2, 2012
J.K. Wall

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act cleared a big cloud of uncertainty for employers, but with just 18 months before the most significant provisions of the law kick in, many questions remain. Three benefits consultants from Indianapolis-based Gregory & Appel Insurance—Bob Miller, Mike Miles and Karl Ahlrichs—sat down to discuss what the future looks like for employer health benefits.

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Employers slow to act on health reform

June 11, 2012
J.K. Wall
Even though employers expect the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down at least some of the 2010 health reform law later this month, few are actually doing any contingency planning.
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WellPoint: Consumers will control health insurance

June 4, 2012
J.K. Wall
The future of health insurance is lower profit margins and greater consumer control. WellPoint Inc. just bet $900 million on it.
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Price hikes offset slower health care use

May 29, 2012
J.K. Wall

Newly available data from private health insurance plans show that price hikes by hospitals, doctors and drug companies have kept employer spending rising recently even as their employees and dependents have moderated their consumption of health care services.

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Justices grill both sides in IU Health case

May 14, 2012
J.K. Wall
Much of the nearly 45 minutes of arguments and questioning on May 10 involved the justices and the lawyers for both parties trying unsuccessfully to apply various scenarios from the retail world of commerce to health care pricing.
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State's high court to weigh hospital bills

May 7, 2012
J.K. Wall
The Indiana Supreme Court this week will consider whether hospital billing practices should be put on trial. The state’s highest court will hear oral arguments Thursday in a case in which two uninsured patients have sued Indiana University Health for charging them much higher prices than it would have charged insured patients.
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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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