Health insurers in the news: May 19-26

The following insurers made headlines this week. They are listed below, beginning with the most recent.  By Erin Marshall -

Highmark proposes 48% hike on ACA exchange plans

Pittsburgh-based Highmark, Pennsylvania's largest insurer, is joining the ranks of other payers looking to raise their premium prices on Affordable Care Act exchange plans, according to the Tribune Review. By Erin Marshall -

After suffering losses, some health plans seeking premium increases of +20%

Losses incurred during the first few years of the Affordable Care Act's implementation are driving some big health plans to seek substantial premium increases in 2017 for individual plans sold through the insurance exchanges of more than a dozen states, according to The Wall Street Journal. By Tamara Rosin -

AMA applauds Missouri's denial of Aetna-Humana merger

The American Medical Association issued its full support of Missouri's decision to bar the Aetna-Humana merger for certain insurance products. By Erin Marshall -

Connecticut OKs Aetna-Humana merger

The Connecticut Insurance Department has given the green light to the Aetna-Humana merger, according to The CT Mirror. By Erin Marshall -

Blue Cross downgrades UAB Hospital to tier 2

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama has downgraded UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Ala., from Tier 1 to Tier 2 status, citing new tier criteria focused on healthcare spending, reports Birmingham Business Journal.  By Brooke Murphy -

Humana to hire 100 new workers in Florida

Louisville, Ky.-based Humana is looking to hire 100 full-time and seasonal employees in Miramar, Fla., according to the Sun Sentinel. By Erin Marshall -

Aetna CEO offers no word on headquarters staying in Connecticut

Despite questions revolving around the future location of its headquarters, Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna has remained fairly quiet about plans to potentially move its home base, according to the Hartford Courant. By Erin Marshall -

Missouri bars Aetna-Humana merger for certain insurance products

Missouri's insurance department has issued a preliminary order that would ban merged insurance giants Aetna and Humana from selling certain insurance products in the state.  By Erin Marshall -

Anthem CEO: Insurer 'working extremely well' with Cigna; merger decision expected in July

Earlier this week, a series of letters reviewed by The Wall Street Journal unveiled the proposed merger between Anthem and Cigna could be delayed or derailed due to squabbles between the insurers. But Anthem's CEO begs to differ. By Erin Marshall -

Florida Blue agrees to pay woman's $53k bill

A Florida woman decided to fight her $53,274 medical bill, and ended up winning, according to a WZVN report.  By Kelly Gooch -

BCBSNC CEO calls ACA losses 'unsustainable'

Certain insurers — like UnitedHealth and Humana — are dropping from the Affordable Care Act exchanges due to financial losses, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina's CEO feels no differently, according to the Charlotte Business Journal. By Erin Marshall -

Iowa insurance commissioner sues feds over failed co-op

Iowa insurance commissioner Nick Gerhart has filed suit against HHS and CMS, alleging federal health officials are withholding $20 million owed to a failed Iowa health insurance co-op, reports Insurance Journal. By Brooke Murphy -

5 things to know about the 2017 ACA exchanges

Health insurers have been making it big in the news as of late. From premium hikes to departures from state Affordable Care Act exchanges, announcements from payers have been plentiful. By Erin Marshall -

Hospital-funded organizations lead mega-merger opposition group

The Campaign for Consumer Choice vehemently opposes the health insurance industry's mega-mergers. But its funding comes from an unlikely source: the hospital industry, according to STAT.  By Erin Marshall -

Michigan bill demands equal insurance of oral, IV cancer drugs

A new bill requesting equal insurance coverage of oral and intravenous chemotherapy drugs has passed in the Michigan Senate, according to Crain's Detroit Business. By Erin Marshall -

California health insurer gains $160M in Series C funding

Clover Health, a San Francisco-based health insurance startup, has obtained $160 million in Series C venture funding, setting its total raised in venture funding at almost $300 million, according to the San Francisco Business Times. By Erin Marshall -

Anthem, Cigna bicker behind closed doors, putting antitrust approval on the line: 3 things to know

Antitrust approvals for the $48 billion proposed merger between Anthem and Cigna could be delayed or derailed by squabbles between the two insurers, according to a series of letters reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.  By Ayla Ellison -

Ore. insurer bleeds $117M on individual marketplace

Premera Blue Cross has reported a whopping $117.5 million loss on individual health plans in 2015, reports Puget Sound Business Journal. By Brooke Murphy -

Idaho wants insurers to accept members' charity aid

The Idaho Department of Insurance wants insurers to let some charities pay costs and premiums for people who lack the money to pay premiums, co-payments and other out-of-pocket expenses, reports Idaho Statesman. By Brooke Murphy -

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