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Showing posts from December, 2012

United Health To Take Over TRICARE West Region 2013

Effective April 1, 2013, TriWest, the current administrator for TRICARE west region, will be replaced by United Healthcare for administration of TRICARE in the west region.  

TriWest recently dropped a 2013 requirement for all premium payments by electronic transfer until UHC takes over the administration.  Premium payments for TRICARE under TriWest can continue by check or telephone.

For those of us on TRICARE, we are hopeful for a smooth and uneventful transition from TriWest to UHC administration.  

TRICARE West Region includes the following states:


ALASKA, ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, HAWAII, IDAHO, IOWA (EXCEPT FOR THE ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL AREA), KANSAS, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI (EXCEPT FOR THE ST. LOUIS AREA), MONTANA, NEBRASKA, NEVADA, NEW MEXICO, NORTH DAKOTA, OREGON, SOUTH DAKOTA, THE EXTREME WESTERN PORTION OF TEXAS,  UTAH, WASHINGTON AND WYOMING



Dave

www.davefluker.com

Anthem Blue Cross Raising Medicare Supplement Rates in 2013

Anthem Blue Cross California has announced a rate increase for Medicare Supplement plans for March 1, 2013.  

The following open plans will experience a 5% rate increase March 1, 2013:

Plan F
Plan G 
Plan N

In addition, many standardized closed plans (pre-June 2010) and non-standardized closed plans will experience rate increases on march 1, 2013 ranging from 1.3% to 9.9%.

Open plans are Medicare Supplement plans currently available for sale to California residents on Medicare or going onto Medicare.

Dave
www.davefluker.com

State Decisions For Creation of Health Insurance Exchanges

As of December 14, 2012, 19 states, including California, have declared a state-based exchange for the PPACA.  The District of Columbia, while not technically a state, is included in this number.  7 states plan to run a partnership exchange (combined state/federal exchange) while 25 states (most recently Arizona) will default to the federal exchange and will not create nor set up a state exchange.

The California Health Benefits Exchange will be a state-run exchange and will go by the name 'Covered California'.

States may choose to set up their own exchange, run a partnership exchange with the federal government or do nothing and allow the federal government to run the exchange for that state.

The Kaiser Family Foundation web site has a list which is current as of 12/14/12.  Link below.

State Decisions For Creating A Health Insurance Exchange

Dave
www.davefluker.com

Aetna CEO "Get Ready For Rate Shock" In 2014

From today's Forbes Magazine Blog by Avik Roy.  Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini discusses the likelihood that individual & family rates under PPACA (Obama Care) may experience a large premium increase over the current health plan rates as well as a narrowing of provider networks  and cutting of reimbursement rates to medical providers.


Aetna CEO Bertolini: Get Ready for 'Rate Shock' as Some Health Insurance Premiums to Double in 2014

I am curious to see the 'Covered California' individual & family rates for 2014 however I don't expect them to be available for quite some time as the plan designs for the Qualified Health Plans are still in the infant phase of development.

Dave
www.davefluker.com

Blue Shield CA To Return $50 Million In Premium Credit

Blue Shield of California has announced that the insurer will return $50 million in premium credits for the 2012 2% Pledge.  

From the Blue Shield web site:

As a not-for-profit health plan dedicated to providing access to quality health care at an affordable price for all Californians, Blue Shield of California believes health care is a fundamental right. But access to care will only be achieved if coverage is affordable.

That's why we made this pledge: if we earn net income of more than 2% of revenue in any year, we will give back the difference to our customers and the community. Blue Shield is committed to the 2% Pledge, as long as our board of directors determines that the company remains financially solvent, with sufficient funds to make the investments needed to stay competitive.

To date, Blue Shield has returned more than $470 million to customers and the community to offset net income earned above the 2% threshold in 2010 and 2011.

In 2012, Blue Shield will again fulfill our 2%…

Blue Shield CA Increase on IFP Rates 3/1/13

Blue Shield of California has announced a rate increase on their individual & family health plans for March 1, 2012.  

Rate increases on some members may be as high as 20% with an average rate increase of 12% across the board.  

LA Times Article

This rate increase comes at a time when recent news of Anthem Blue Cross' (Blue Cross of California) has notified subscribers of a 25% rate increase February 1, 2013 and Aetna has also indicated a rate increase for 2013.  I would expect Health Net PPO to adjust rates as well in 2013.

Dave
www.davefluker.com