Dave Jones

Anthem-Cigna, Aetna-Humana Mergers, Split Regulators

Last week, the California Department of Managed Health Care approved the merger of Aetna and Humana. The move seemed unlikely after a hearing at which DMHC Director Shelley Rouillard expressed skepticism about how the deal could benefit consumers, noting especially Aetna’s history of serial unreasonable rate hikes ($39 million in excessive rates in just 8 months).

Is Aetna Lazy, or just Greedy?

The Department of Insurance held a hearing this morning into the proposed $37 billion merger of health insurance giants Aetna and Humana. Aetna is seeking to expand its market share the lazy way by buying up competitors instead of gaining customers the old-fashioned way: by having the best product. 

Execs Can't Explain How Consumers Benefit From Anthem-Cigna Merger

Yesterday in San Francisco, Anthem VP Jay Wagner and Cigna’s Tom Richards refused to commit to price reductions for California consumers if the $54 Billion deal for Anthem to buy Cigna is approved.

In fact, Anthem and Cigna’s executives could not provide any concrete examples of how the Anthem-Cigna merger would benefit consumers at the four-hour hearing into the merger I attended at the Department of Insurance.

Capitol Watchdog: Upcoming Meetings to Watch

A Medical Board task force (it's called Patient Notification, when it really should be Physician Probation Notification) will be discussing possible protocols for notifying patients about doctors on probation.

Capitol Watchdog: Upcoming Meetings to Watch

Inadequate physician networks and out-of-network billing have cast an ugly shadow over the expanding healthcare market as more people have access to healthcare. Next Monday, the Department of Insurance will hold a hearing on new proposed regulations covering network adequacy and out-of-network billing in emergency services. 

State Regulators Defenseless In the Face of Aetna Premium Hikes

Aetna is ending the year just like it started, with state regulators saying the insurance company has hiked premiums excessively, and there is nothing they can do about it. 
 

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