insurance

Sage Ross / Creative Commons

Aetna has reported second-quarter earnings of $731.8 million, a 33 percent bump on the same time last year, and a number that exceeded analysts’ expectations. 

The Senate unanimously approved legislation Monday night requiring hospitals across the nation to tell Medicare patients when they receive observation care but haven't been admitted to the hospital as inpatients.

The distinction is easy for patients to miss — until they get hit with big medical bills after a short stay.

LaDawna Howard / Creative Commons

Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson waged a war on poverty  to rebuild America as a “Great Society” where “no child will go unfed, and no youngster will go unschooled.” 

Medicaid was enacted in 1965 as part of sweeping legislation to provide food, education, healthcare and jobs to millions in poverty.  Once a benefit for poor single parents and their kids, Medicaid now covers mental illness, disabilities, the elderly and most recently, millions of the previously uninsured through Obamacare.

Anthem, Cigna Finalize Rumored Merger

Jul 24, 2015

A definitive agreement is in place for Anthem to take over Bloomfield-based Cigna. The deal comes nearly a year into talks, and a month after an earlier attempt was rebuffed.

Health insurer Anthem has struck a deal to acquire rival Cigna for $48 billion — a buyout that would create the country's largest health insurer by enrollment.

The combined entity would have an estimated revenue of $115 billion and cover 53 million people in the U.S.

Governor Dannel Malloy

Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade has ordered public hearings on proposed rate increases by three health insurers that would affect more than 70,000 policyholders next year.

Sage Ross / Creative Commons

Aetna will become the nation’s second largest health insurer as it announces a deal to buy Kentucky-based Humana. The $37 billion dollar deal will significantly increase Aetna’s presence in the market for government plans like Medicare Advantage, which offers privately-run versions of Medicare plans. 

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The Supreme Court may have given health insurance companies more certainty on the Affordable Care Act, but merger speculation continues in the industry. Will the Big Five end up as the Big Three?

And what will that mean for consumers? 

A small company in California is hoping to make a big splash by providing detailed flood maps to homeowners and insurance companies. And to do that, the company is using one of the fastest supercomputers in the world.

The company is called Katrisk, based in Berkeley, Calif. Hydrologist and computer modeler Dag Lohmann is one of the company's founders. He says the flood maps the Federal Emergency Management Agency already produces will tell you how prone a particular area is to flooding.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed the Obama administration a major victory on health care, ruling 6-3 that nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act are legal.

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," the court's majority said in the opinion, which was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. But they acknowledged that "petitioners' arguments about the plain meaning ... are strong."

As the Supreme Court edges closer to issuing an opinion that could deal a blow to the federal health exchange operating in more than 30 states, Democrats have sounded a warning to their colleagues on the other side: Be careful what you wish for.

sphilbrick, via Wikimedia Commons

After weeks of rumors at least one potential deal in the health insurance industry is out in the open - but it may be going nowhere. On Sunday Bloomfield’s Cigna publicly rejected an offer from Anthem, calling the $47 billion bid "deeply disappointing." 

Federal officials have spent years locked in a secret legal battle with UnitedHealth Group, the nation's biggest Medicare Advantage insurer, after a government audit detected widespread overbilling at one of the company's health plans, newly released records show.

The states that set up their own insurance marketplaces have nothing to lose in King v. Burwell, the big Supreme Court case that will be decided by the end of June. But that doesn't mean those states are breathing easy.

With varying degrees of difficulty, all of the state-based exchanges are struggling to figure out how to become financially self-sufficient as the spigot of federal start-up money shuts off.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Health care costs and cybercrime are top of the list of concerns for businesses in a new survey. Insurer Travelers carried out this survey of more than a thousand businesses of all sizes, the second year it's created a Businesses Risk Index.

The future of Vermont’s health insurance exchange depends on the Shumlin administration’s ability to meet a looming deadline. Still unanswered, though, is the question of how to proceed if the milestone goes unmet. Lt. Gov. Phil Scott and top lawmakers think the solution might be in Connecticut.

Phil Roeder / Creative Commons

Certain home improvement contractors in Connecticut could soon be obligated to hold liability insurance.

The politics of the Affordable Care Act in the state of Louisiana aren't subtle: The law isn't popular.

The state was part of the lawsuit to strike down Obamacare in 2012; it didn't expand Medicaid and has no plans to. Louisiana also didn't set up its own marketplace to sell health insurance.

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A major insurer in the state has agreed to spend $11.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought against it by physicians organizations, including the Connecticut State Medical Society. 

The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to get health insurance or pay a penalty. To help coax people to buy a health plan, the federal government now subsidizes premiums for millions of Americans.

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New patterns of extreme weather have insurance companies thinking more seriously about climate change. As storms intensify and damages increase, many are looking at new ways to predict losses from climate related risks. 

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Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act ended in February. But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, uninsured Connecticut residents who just found out about the financial penalty in the law now have one more month to apply for coverage. 

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A dispute between Governor Dannel Malloy and the federal government over Medicaid reimbursement rates could cost state taxpayers an extra $45 million. 

Governor Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy has selected Katherine Wade to be Connecticut's next insurance commissioner. Wade has over 20 years experience in the insurance industry, most recently as Cigna's Vice President of Public Policy, Government Affairs and U.S. Compliance. 

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Tax time appears to be revealing an uptick in identity theft -- and it may be related to some of the massive data breaches seen this year, including the one from health insurer Anthem. 

Mark Fischer (Flickr Creative Commons)

The nation's highest court again has the future of the president's signature health care law in its hands. 

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday from opponents who say it's being wrongly implemented. The case is called King v. Burwell, and the plaintiffs say the federal government is breaking the law when it pays subsidies to people buying health insurance through the three-dozen states in the federal exchange.

After Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Kathy Hanlon's life crumbled. Her Long Beach, N.Y., home had no electricity, her family was traumatized and one of her sons was getting sick. On top of that, there was the bureaucratic maze of flood insurance.

"I cried many times because I was so angry when I got off the phone with the insurance company," Hanlon says. "It was demeaning. We had to send them things repeatedly. We had to wait for phone calls. We had to wait for people to come visit the house."

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Anthem announced that customers will be able to sign up for credit monitoring services starting Friday.

Responding to a letter sent Tuesday by Connecticut’s attorney general, the health insurer said anyone who had a health plan with them in the last ten years will be allowed to access the protection. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut’s Attorney General has joined with nine other states to ask health insurer Anthem to speed up its plan to protect consumers in the wake of what may be the nation’s biggest-ever data breach.

George Jepsen sent a letter to Anthem's CEO on behalf of attorneys general from Rhode Island, Maine, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and several other states, calling on Anthem to step up its response to its customers.

Eighty million people, including more than a million in Connecticut, may have been affected by the cyber hack, and Anthem initially said it will provide two years of credit monitoring for customers.

Javier Villa has worked at his family's used car dealership in San Juan, Puerto Rico, ever since he finished high school.

Villa, 35, always assumed the insurance plan he had through work would take care of him and his family. But a couple years ago, he ran into a problem.

He was taking a shower one morning when he noticed a lump on the side of his throat. "Very big, like maybe a tennis ball," he says.

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