Health Insurance

Covered CA Has Insurance Companies Covered, Not Consumers

Covered California’s announced 13% rate hike for health insurance rates in 2017 is going to hit consumers hard.  It’s a double whammy since California policyholders have suffered from some of the narrowest networks of doctors and hospitals in the country, allegedly as the price paid for modest premium hikes the last couple of years. Now Californians have fewer choices of doctors – less than 25% of an area’s docs in most plans – and higher premiums: the worst of all worlds.

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.

Health Insurers Lose Silent Round In Medi-Cal Deal

California taxpayers dodged a bullet yesterday with the passage of a high-stakes bill to help fund Medi-Cal.

Legislative Democrats and nearly a dozen Republicans approved a plan to trade existing taxes for a new tax on insurers to raise more than $1 billion in needed health care funding and preserve federal Medi-Cal matching funds.

Kaiser, Blues, and Health Net’s $10 Billion Back Tax Bill Coming Due?

Kaiser Permanente

Will a fast moving legal case end a $10 billion tax dodge by the state's largest health insurance companies? The four companies are not happy, but the state should be.

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