360° Coverage : Insurers Adding Products On Obamacare Exchanges May Curb Prices

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Insurers Adding Products On Obamacare Exchanges May Curb Prices

Apr 26 2014, 9:16am CDT | by

News that more than 8 million Americans signed up for private health benefits under the Affordable Care Act is drawing health insurance companies to more markets in 2015 and could mean better prices...

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13 weeks ago

Insurers Adding Products On Obamacare Exchanges May Curb Prices

Apr 26 2014, 9:16am CDT | by

News that more than 8 million Americans signed up for private health benefits under the Affordable Care Act is drawing health insurance companies to more markets in 2015 and could mean better prices and choices for consumers, analysts say.

Already, the nation’s largest health insurance company, UnitedHealth Group (UNH), last week said it is looking to expand next year. Meanwhile, other health plans including Aetna (AET), Humana (HUM), Wellpoint (WLP) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans are evaluating their markets and rates for 2015.

“We had a very modest footprint in 2014 and as we’ve said and still believe, we do have a bias to increase that participation in 2015,” Gail Boudreaux, executive vice president and CEO of UnitedHealth’s United Healthcare subsidiary.

Though UnitedHealth isn’t saying where it will expand, health benefits analysts say increased insurance company participation on the exchanges is good news for consumer choices and health plan pricing.

“null rincipal in the health and life sciences practice of consulting firm Oliver Wyman. “ Oliver Wyman has benchmarked the competitiveness of on-exchange premiums by comparing actual premiums in each state with an expected premium based on actuarial projections. In many states, the lowest cost plans are well below what we would expect.”

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini earlier this week told Wall Street analysts and investors on the company’s first-quarter earnings call that the company is evaluating rates for 2015 for the 17 states where it offers products on public exchanges. Markets with higher numbers of health plan members tend to have lower rates but anything still has to be approved by state or federal regulators.

“I would say the range of our rates are very low single digits to some that will be over double digits, and in large part that depends on number one, the amount of membership we have in the market; number two, the demographics of that membership, but probably even more importantly the lack of clarity about what kind of experience we have,” Bertolini told analysts earlier this week.

But benefits analysts say selling benefits on an exchange is beginning to increase competition and reduce costs.

“The overall goal of a health exchange is to create a competitive marketplace that offers consumers a variety of high quality health plans to meet their individual needs,” said Cary Grace, CEO of Aon Exchange Solutions, a private exchange offered to employers by benefits consulting firm Aon Hewitt (AON). “Adding new carriers that understand the local competitive environment and the buying preferences of the consumers in that local market will help to increase this outcome.”

Wondering how Obamacare will affect your health care? The Forbes eBook Inside Obamacare: The Fix For America’s Ailing Health Care System answers that question and more. Available now  at Amazon and Apple. 
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10 Essential Health Plan Benefits, 2013

 
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7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat was told today ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was brok ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat today ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern st ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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8 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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4

8 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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8 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocation of ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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2

8 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar S ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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1

8 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Skyway (Kidex) ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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