When customers are few, it’s time for a price cut. With only 177 Hoosiers signed up for the federal Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan created by the 2010 health reform law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services decided to drop premiums 26 percent. Now adults aged 45-54 can buy into the plan for $284 per month or $295 for a health savings account. The plan was created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. health care reform) to provide coverage to Americans until 2014, when health insurers will no longer be allowed to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Nationwide, only 18,000 people have signed up for the plan—far below expectations. The department cut prices 40 percent or more in 17 states. In addition, the government will begin paying insurance agents and brokers this fall for connecting eligible participants to the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.
Roche Diagnostics Corp. landed an $11.4 million contract to provide laboratory testing services at military hospitals in the Washington, D.C., area. Switzerland-based Roche operates its North American diagnostic headquarters out of Indianapolis, where it employs 2,900 people. The new contract with the Medcom Contracting Center North Atlantic was awarded May 19 and will run until Sept. 30, but has four one-year renewal options. Roche equipment will conduct tests of blood and other fluids at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., as well as the new Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia. Roche Diagnostics sells mid- and high-volume laboratory analyzers, such as its new cobas 8000 machine, to hospitals and academic medical centers. It also sells diagnostict machines for use by physicians in their offices and for other small-scale situations. In all, Roche's professional diagnostics business accounts for one-third of its total North American sales, or about $880 million. Roche Diagnostics also makes tests for diabetes and genetic traits, as well as gene sequencers and other diagnostic equipment. Its North American sales totaled $2.6 billion last year.
International Medical Group Inc., an Indianapolis-based seller of international health insurance policies, had signed a marketing partnership with a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, the New York-based insurance and consulting firm. IMG’s products, which provide coverage for and coordination of medical care to individuals and groups while traveling abroad, will be marketed nationally under the Gateway brand name.