Humana and CVS Announce Strategic Retail Partnership

LOUISVILLE, Ky. & WOONSOCKET, R.I.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Humana Inc. and CVS/pharmacy have announced a strategic retail partnership designed to educate individuals and their families about their health care coverage options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Humana representatives will be present at CVS/pharmacy’s Project Health events starting this month. Humana will also be holding in-store events at CVS/pharmacy locations to educate individuals and their families about health care coverage options under the ACA.

Humana and CVS/pharmacy will also provide educational brochures and other materials that will be available to individuals and their families.

See the full story at Humana.com.

The Rise of the Small Insurer

Yesterday was, in some ways, the grand opening of Obamacare. It’s the day that open enrollment begins for state health exchanges. But several of the nation’s largest health insurers are sitting out the exchanges. And this has created an opportunity for smaller companies to expand their business.

L.A. Care is a health plan provider located on the 10th floor of a high rise in downtown Los Angeles. It only offers plans to low-income individuals through Medicare and Medicaid. But starting today, anyone can buy private insurance form L.A Care.

L.A. Care expects to sign up 20,000 new customers in the first month. And that’s just in L.A. County.

See the full story at MarketPlace.org

 

eHealth Signs Agreement With Intuit to Simplify Health Insurance Enrollment

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA–(Marketwired – Sep 24, 2013) –  eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH), the nation’s leading private online health insurance exchange for individual and family health insurance, today announced that it has entered into a relationship with Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU) in an effort to expand consumer enrollment in individual and family health insurance plans.

Through the planned integration with Intuit TurboTax®, many of the more than 25 million people projected to use TurboTax will be able to more easily explore their health insurance options using eHealth’s online health insurance marketplace. In addition to major medical coverage, TurboTax users may also be able to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement plans and stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans.

See the full story at MarketWired.com

 

More Large Companies Opt To Drop ‘Bare-Bones’ Health Plans

A growing number of large employers are choosing to stop offering their so-called bare-bones or “mini-med” health plans — which typically provide basic, minimum coverage — rather than upgrading the plans to be compliant with the Affordable Care Act’s requirements, the Wall Street Journal reports.

More than 1,200 employers offer such minimum-coverage plans, which must be phased out by Jan. 1. An estimated four million workers are enrolled in the low-cost plans, which are common in low-wage industries and typically limit total benefits to as little as $3,000 a year.

According to the Journal, many companies are opting to shift hundreds — or in some instances, thousands — of employees into private health insurance exchanges or the public marketplaces created under the ACA.

See the full story at CaliforniaHealthLine.org

 

Officials outline ‘Basic Health Program’

Federal health officials released the framework for ObamaCare’s long-awaited “Basic Health Program,” an initiative designed to provide a scaled-down, lower-cost coverage option to people who cannot afford health plans on the new insurance exchanges.

The Basic Health Plan will be available to citizens who aren’t eligible for Medicaid but might not be able to afford health coverage for the new insurance exchanges. Legally present non-citizens who qualify for the exchanges and those that would otherwise qualify for Medicaid may also enroll.

See the full story at TheHill.com

Swapping COBRA For Obamacare Likely To Be Windfall For Big Business

Health-law provisions taking effect next year could save U.S. employers billions of dollars in expenses now paid for workers who continue medical coverage after they leave the company, benefits experts say.

Insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act are expected to all but replace COBRA coverage in which ex-employees and dependents can remain on the company plan if they pay the premiums.

See the full story at KaiserHealthNews.org

 

Conservatives in House Unveil ObamaCare Replacement Bill

Conservatives representing nearly three-quarters of the House Republican conference unveiled their proposed replacement for President Obama’s healthcare law Wednesday, delivering on a long-delayed GOP promise.

The bill from the Republican Study Committee would fully repeal the 2010 law and replace it with an expansion of health savings accounts, medical liability reform and the elimination of restrictions on purchasing insurance across state lines.

See the full story at TheHill.com

 

Employers Are Dropping Spousal Coverage, Cite Affordable Care Act Costs for Decision

Pointing to costs of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), some employers are dropping spouses from their group health plans next year.

In Mercer’s 2012 National Survey of Employer Sponsored Health Plans, which represents data from nearly 2,810 employers of all sizes, 6% of employers reported excluding spouses from coverage, and another 6% reported charging a spousal surcharge. This represents a total of 12% of employers with some type of special provision for spousal coverage, says Tracy Watts, a senior partner in Mercer’s Washington, D.C., office.

See the full story at AISHealth.com

ACA Creates ‘Perfect Storm’ for Potential Telemedicine Success

Telemedicine could prove instrumental in helping to keep healthcare costs stable as the Affordable Care Act takes hold, according to Mario Gutierrez, executive director for the Center for Connected Health Policy.

Gutierrez, who talked with Time about the potential for a mainstream breakthrough for telemedicine, said that as more and more patients obtain coverage, doctors subsequently will be stretched thin.

Last week, Reps. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) introduced the TELEmedicine for MEDicare (TELE-MED) Act to the House, which would allow Medicare providers to treat patients electronically across state lines without having to obtain multiple state medical licenses.

See the full story at FierceHealthIT.com

 

 

Labor Department Rejects Cash-for-Coverage Strategies

Employers should think twice before cutting workers or retirees a check and shipping them off to use the exchanges.

The Employee Benefits Security Administration, an arm of the U.S. Department of Labor, has told employers and their brokers just that in a new technical release.

See the full story at BenefitsPro.com