WellPoint

Rebates shrink as Anthem gets better at pricing

August 18, 2014
J.K. Wall
Hoosiers are receiving $11.9 million in rebates this year from health insurers that used less than 80 percent of their 2013 premiums for medical bills last year. That’s down from $22.6 million handed out last year.
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WellPoint to change corporate name back to Anthem

August 12, 2014
 Bloomberg News and IBJ Staff, Associated Press
The name change will be completed by the end of the year, pending shareholder approval, the company said Tuesday.
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WellPoint unit launching $80M information exchange

August 6, 2014
Associated Press
Two insurers announced Tuesday that they are partnering for an ambitious project to establish one of the nation's largest health-information exchanges, an effort they hope will reduce duplication and improve patient outcomes.
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WellPoint beats expectations despite smaller profit

July 30, 2014
Associated Press, J.K. Wall
WellPoint Inc.'s profit fell in the second quarter, but still topped Wall Street's expectations. The health insurer raised its full-year profit forecast and projections for enrollment in its health plans.
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Connecticut nixes rate increase by WellPoint subsidiary

July 29, 2014
Associated Press
Anthem told regulators that the 12.5-percent rate increase was needed because of higher costs for medical services, pharmaceuticals and fees levied by the federal government as part of the Affordable Care Act.
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Mouse clicks replace stethoscopes as U.S. web care grows

July 14, 2014
Bloomberg News
To cut medical costs and diagnose minor ailments, WellPoint Inc. and Aetna Inc., among other health insurers, are letting millions of patients get seen online first.
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WellPoint stock ascends to a record $110 per share

July 12, 2014
J.K. Wall
Indianapolis-based WellPoint saw its shares close July 9 at $110.87 per share, compared with less than $85 just five months ago.
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WellPoint CEO: Insurer preparing for technology wave

July 10, 2014
Associated Press
In a wide-ranging interview, WellPoint Inc. CEO Joseph Swedish says adapting to technology is a top priority as he leads the nation's second largest health insurer.
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Life sciences critical mass elusive in Indiana after years of effortRestricted Content

May 10, 2014
J.K. Wall
Attempts to build the sector are making headway, but Indiana still lags leading states.
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Insurers say most Obamacare enrollees paying premiums

May 6, 2014
Bloomberg News
Three large health insurers including Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. and Aetna Inc. say that a high percentage of their new Obamacare customers are paying their first premiums, partly undermining a Republican criticism of enrollment in the program.
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WellPoint shares rise after better-than-expected quarter

April 30, 2014
Bloomberg News, J.K. Wall
The Indianapolis-based health insurer increased its profit forecast after Obamacare enrollments boosted quarterly results.
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Late sign-ups boost numbers, improve Obamacare outlook

April 18, 2014
Associated Press
Still to be announced is what share of those 8 million enrollees were previously uninsured, and how many actually secured coverage by paying their first month's premiums.
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Health insurers must make educated guesses on 2015 pricesRestricted Content

April 12, 2014
J.K. Wall
The back-loaded enrollment process for the Obamacare exchanges gives insurers far, far less information about their new customers than usual.
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Indiana insurers must make best guesses on 2015 price hikes

April 10, 2014
J.K. Wall
Health insurers such as WellPoint Inc. that plan to hike prices on their Obamacare policies more than 10 percent in 2015 will have a much harder time than usual making their case to regulators.
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WellPoint spending millions in California ballot battle

April 9, 2014
Bloomberg News
WellPoint Inc. is leading companies that have poured $13.4 million into defeating a ballot initiative that would give California regulators the power to reject increases in health policy premiums.
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Big health care insurers bulk up executive pay

April 2, 2014
Associated Press
WellPoint CEO Joe Swedish wasn't the only health insurance exec making big bucks last year. Aetna Inc. Chairman and CEO Mark T. Bertolini saw his total compensation more than double, to top $30 million.
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WellPoint CEO lands nearly $17M in first year

April 2, 2014
J.K. Wall
Compensation for Joe Swedish included $4.1 million in perks, such as $3.8 million he would have received in his previous job, $79,000 in relocation expenses, and $82,000 for his legal fees from contract negotiations.
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WellPoint sees double-digit rate rise for Obamacare in 2015

March 25, 2014
Bloomberg News
Two months before health insurers must submit rate proposals for 2015 to government regulators, WellPoint Inc. fired a surprising shot across their bow.
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WellPoint shares top $100 on bullish 5-year forecast

March 24, 2014
J.K. Wall
The health insurer predicted growth in government-funded health insurance programs would push revenue above $100 billion by 2018. That prompted investors to push WellPoint stock above $100 per share—an all-time high for the company.
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WellPoint raises 2014 earnings forecast

March 21, 2014
Associated Press
WellPoint is already raising a 2014 earnings forecast it laid out earlier this year, but the nation's second-largest health insurer's projections are still below analyst expectations.
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Obamacare shuffles market share in some states, report finds

March 18, 2014
Bloomberg News
A snapshot of Obamacare enrollment in seven states suggests the law hasn't significantly increased competition, but it has shuffled market share for some insurers, including Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc.
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WellPoint getting unexpected competition from co-ops

March 13, 2014
Bloomberg News
Obamacare opponents predicted early on that insurance co-ops created by the law would fail, but several are doing well by combining low premiums with a certain homespun appeal.
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Companies, including WellPoint, use buybacks to boost stock

March 11, 2014
Associated Press analysis
Companies have been spending big on buybacks since the 1990s. What's new is the way buybacks have exaggerated the health of many companies.
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WellPoint dismisses former interim-CEO Cannon

February 21, 2014
J.K. Wall
John Cannon, the man credited with righting the ship at WellPoint Inc., was terminated without cause this week, the company disclosed in a securities filing Friday morning.
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Consumers shun cheapest Obamacare exchange plans

February 20, 2014
Bloomberg News
Most Americans are avoiding the lowest-priced health plans on the Obamacare insurance exchanges, taking advantage of government subsidies to seek more protection against high treatment costs.
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  1. You are correct that Obamacare requires health insurance policies to include richer benefits and protects patients who get sick. That's what I was getting at when I wrote above, "That’s because Obamacare required insurers to take all customers, regardless of their health status, and also established a floor on how skimpy the benefits paid for by health plans could be." I think it's vital to know exactly how much the essential health benefits are costing over previous policies. Unless we know the cost of the law, we can't do a cost-benefit analysis. Taxes were raised in order to offset a 31% rise in health insurance premiums, an increase that paid for richer benefits. Are those richer benefits worth that much or not? That's the question we need to answer. This study at least gets us started on doing so.

  2. *5 employees per floor. Either way its ridiculous.

  3. Jim, thanks for always ready my stuff and providing thoughtful comments. I am sure that someone more familiar with research design and methods could take issue with Kowalski's study. I thought it was of considerable value, however, because so far we have been crediting Obamacare for all the gains in coverage and all price increases, neither of which is entirely fair. This is at least a rigorous attempt to sort things out. Maybe a quixotic attempt, but it's one of the first ones I've seen try to do it in a sophisticated way.

  4. In addition to rewriting history, the paper (or at least your summary of it) ignores that Obamacare policies now must provide "essential health benefits". Maybe Mr Wall has always been insured in a group plan but even group plans had holes you could drive a truck through, like the Colts defensive line last night. Individual plans were even worse. So, when you come up with a study that factors that in, let me know, otherwise the numbers are garbage.

  5. You guys are absolutely right: Cummins should build a massive 80-story high rise, and give each employee 5 floors. Or, I suppose they could always rent out the top floors if they wanted, since downtown office space is bursting at the seams (http://www.ibj.com/article?articleId=49481).

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