Businesses all want to see reform of the health care system, but they diverge on how much the U.S. government’s entrance into
the insurance market would help or hurt them.
Indiana Medicaid officials want to take over management of all its patients’ prescription drugs because they say it could save the state as much as $40 million a year.
In order to comply with stricter rules from the Internal Revenue Service, schools and other not-for-profits are making changes
and consolidations to retirement plans, creating growth opportunities for companies like Indianapolis-based American United
Life Insurance Co.
A year of computer snafus boiled over Oct. 13 when the St. Francis system declared WellPoint Inc. in breach of its contract
because of habitually late payments.
WellPoint Inc. touts as the company’s biggest strength its dominant market share in its health insurance markets. But now
the officers of the company are working to branch out beyond health insurance. They’re training their sales force
on how to better sell dental, vision and even life and disability insurance–which WellPoint refers to as its specialty group
WellPoint Inc. prides itself on working to hold down the rising cost of health care. But to hear one of its former vice
presidents tell it, the company retaliated against him when he worked to do just that. In a lawsuit against
WellPoint, Dr. Randy Axelrod claims his former employer forced him out when he tried to curtail a drugmaker’s
controversial pricing strategy that was costing WellPoint money.
Angela Braly, Wayne DeVeydt and the rest of the top brass at WellPoint Inc. face wrath over the company’s recent stock swoon
from a new group: ex-employees. Four former WellPoint workers have filed lawsuits against the Indianapolis-based health insurance
giant over the losses its 401(k) retirement plan suffered in March when the company slashed its profit forecast for the year.
Anthem Insurance Co. added nearly 75,000 commercial customers last year, pushing its total up more than 4 percent. Anthem,
a subsidiary of Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., now claims a whopping 1.8 million commercial customers in the state. The
trouble is, Anthem’s dominance limits price competition, according to benefits brokers, making it hard for local HMOs such
as M-Plan or even some national players to compete.
The “father of health savings accounts” isn’t satisfied. At 80, J. Patrick Rooney is gearing up for another health care reform
battle in Washington–five years after winning a colossal victory when Congress awarded health savings accounts tax-free status.
Indiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Atterholt says his philosophy toward consumer protection is to be tough on the “bad actors,”
but friendly toward the “good actors”;–in part, so he can call for their help when needed.Not everyone is convinced, however,
because Atterholt has done so much in his 2-1/2 years as commissioner to promote industry causes.