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Posts Tagged ‘2011’

Blue Cross parent reports weaker second-quarter results

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Crains reports:

“Bottom-line income for the parent of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois fell sharply during the second quarter as demand for medical care surged, a sign that the economy is strengthening.

Health Care Service Corp.’s net income fell 28 percent, to $194.3 million, during the second quarter, down from $269.4 million in 2011, when the Chicago-based firm blew past the $1 billion net income mark for the second straight year.

(more…)

Small comfort: Health care costs projected to increase less than 10%, first time in decade

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Employee Benefit News reports:

“Cost increases for health care are perhaps finally slowing down, with employer health benefit expenditures not expected to increase in 2012 at the same explosive growth in recent years. Costs for all types of medical plans are expected to increase by 9.9% for 2012, according to a survey by Buck Consultants, the first time since 2001 that Buck’s survey has projected cost increases less than 10% for any type of plan. The firm has been conducting its survey since 1999.

(more…)

Study Finds Alarming Number of Boomers Lack Basic Understanding of Medicare Program

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Insurance News Net reports:

“CHICAGO, Feb. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –More than half (56 percent) of America’s middle-income Boomers admit to knowing little or almost nothing about the Medicare program and one in seven (13 percent) falsely believe Medicare is free, the latest study released by the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement (SM) (CSR) reveals.

The CSR’s Retirement Healthcare for Middle-Income Americans study of 400 pre-Medicare Boomers (age 47 to 64) and 400 older adults (age 65 to 75) with income between $25,000 and $75,000, found that nearly three-fourths (72 percent) of Boomers did not know that most Americans on Medicare pay a monthly premium, co-pays and deductibles.

(more…)

Feds recover $4.1B in health care fraud in 2011

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Benefits pro reports:

“MIAMI (AP) — Federal authorities say they recovered $4.1 billion in health care fraud judgments last year, a record high which officials on Monday credited to new tools for cracking down on deceitful Medicare claims.

The recovered funds are up roughly 50 percent from 2009. Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius were expected to make the announcement at a news conference Tuesday.

(more…)

Affordable Care Act Mandate Kicking Insurance Agents To The Curb

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Yahoo News reports:

“In an environment where jobs are hard to find, the Obama administration has thrown more than 100,000 health insurance agents and brokers under the bus and given them the gift of an unemployment line just before the holidays.

To make matters worse, a large number of insurance agents, known in the trade as producers, are self-employed and under the prevailing laws may have difficulty receiving unemployment insurance.

(more…)

Medicare Part B 2012 Premiums Lower Than Projected

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Kaiser Health News reports:

“The Obama administration today announced that premiums for Medicare Part B coverage in 2012 will be $99.90 a month for most beneficiaries, a smaller-than-expected increase over the $96.40 paid this year by a majority of elderly and disabled beneficiaries. Part B pays for physician visits, hospital outpatient costs and certain other services. A 3.6 percent Social Security cost-of-living adjustment, the first in three years, will more than make up for the small increase, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

(more…)

Health care use slows premium hikes

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Benifitspro reports:

“Many workers will see their health insurance costs rise less next year than in more than a decade, partly because consumers are dialing back their health care use, a benefits consultant has found.

A survey from consultant Mercer of companies that offer employees health insurance shows the cost will rise an average of 5.4 percent in 2012. That compares with an average hike of 6.4 percent this year and it would be the smallest increase since 1997, according to data Mercer released Wednesday.

(more…)

Health care expansion to cost Illinois, study finds

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

CarmiTimes.com reports:

“Expanding Illinois’ Medicaid program under the federal health-care reform law will cost the state $1.3 billion a year in 2020 and beyond, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Rand Corp.

The annual cost is at least six times higher than what state officials have estimated since the federal Affordable Care Act became law in March 2010.

(more…)

Messing With Medicare

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

The New York Times reports:

“At the time of writing, President Obama’s hoped-for “Grand Bargain” with Republicans is apparently dead. And I say good riddance. I’m no more eager than other rational people (a category that fails to include many Congressional Republicans) to see what happens if the debt limit isn’t raised. But what the president was offering to the G.O.P., especially on Medicare, was a very bad deal for America.

Specifically, according to many reports, the president offered both means-testing of Medicare benefits and a rise in the age of Medicare eligibility. The first would be bad policy; the second would be terrible policy. And it would almost surely be terrible politics, too. (more…)

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