Health Insurance

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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Set pricing helps boost diagnostic network's growthRestricted Content

May 5, 2012
J.K. Wall
When the same MRI at one facility costs $600 and at another costs $2,200, Dr. Robert Gregori would call that a business opportunity.
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Quest to rein in health care costs gives momentum to on-site clinicsRestricted Content

May 5, 2012
J.K. Wall
Health care firms have opened a flurry of clinics at Hoosier employers the past two years as businesses increasingly embrace the concept as a way to restrain employee health costs.
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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

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