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Industry Updates

This broad category includes articles concerning health insurance costs, carrier and health plan news, changing benefits technology, and surveys by the Kaiser Family Foundation and others on employee benefits.

Blue Shield of California Agrees To Limit Premiums, Recalculate Rebates

Blue Shield of California has agreed to limit its premiums for certain policies next year and in 2017, Payers & Providers reports. Background On Oct. 5, the California Department of Managed Health Careissued an order addressing Blue Shield’s premiums and medical loss ratio calculations. DMHC spokesperson Rodger Butler said the agency had “significant concerns with ...

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Insurance Commissioner Slams Aetna’s Small-Business Rate Hike

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones slammed Aetna Thursday for an “unreasonable” quarterly rate hike on small-business owners that brings the annual average increase to more than 27 percent. The hike affects small employers that renew their health insurance policies in the fourth quarter — and an estimated 40,000 employees. Dept. of Insurance actuaries reviewed Aetna’s ...

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Private Health Exchange Has Options for Small Companies Affected by New Mandate

CaliforniaChoice is bullish on expansion of the small-group market. Like its public counterpart, Covered California, the private insurance exchange is prepared to welcome employers with 51 to 100 employees into the program Jan. 1, 2016. California law still requires this group to be considered “small employers” for the purpose of health insurance, starting next year. ...

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Looming Tax On High-End Health Plans Draw Heavy Fire

About half of all American adults get health insurance through their employer, and beginning in 2018, the government will impose heavy financial penalties on any employer-provided health plans it deems overly generous. The tax was designed to rein in health care inflation and raise tens of billions of dollars. Former Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., a ...

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Nevada Health CO-OP Broker Commissions On Hold

Insurance brokers who sold health plans through a failed nonprofit carrier will no longer be paid commissions. Nevada Health CO-OP has stopped commission payments effective immediately, according to a Friday notice from an attorney working on behalf of the Nevada Division of Insurance. “Preliminary review indicates that (Nevada Health CO-OP) is in hazardous financial condition,” ...

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Some Small Employers Remain in Limbo on Small-Group Definition

Although President Obama signed the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act this week, many employers the legislation is intended to protect remain in limbo. The PACE Act nullifies the Affordable Care Act’s originally scheduled 2016 expansion of the threshold of “small group” for health insurance purposes from employers with 50 or fewer employees and ...

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State Launches Health Insurance Awareness Campaign

The Nevada Division of Insurance has announced the launch of its Fall Health Insurance Awareness campaign, saying the month of October is a good time to begin thinking about a 2016 health insurance policy. Open Enrollment is just around the corner, starting Nov. 1 and running through Jan. 31, 2016. That is why the Division ...

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53% of Uninsured Californians Eligible for Medi-Cal, ACA Subsidies

More than half of uninsured Californians qualify for either Medi-Cal coverage or subsidies under the Affordable Care Act to help pay premiums, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report released Tuesday, KPCC’s “KPCC News” reports. Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program. For the state-by-state report, KFF reviewed data from the 2015 Current Population Survey Annual Social ...

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Governor’s Vetoes Poke Lawmakers On Special Session Failure

In a series of bundled vetoes, Gov. Jerry Brown sent a hard-to-miss weekend message to state legislators: You dropped the ball before leaving Sacramento for 2015. Brown took action on 80 bills on Saturday, signing landmark legislation on everything from voter registration to farm animal antibiotics. But in a handful of vetoes, the governor quickly ...

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California Doctors’ Lobby Group Pushes Agenda with Swagger

As large clocks around the office counted down to Election Day last year, leading physicians ditched their business meeting and marched downstairs to stuff envelopes with campaign pamphlets in a makeshift war room at the California Medical Association’s Sacramento headquarters. No issue confronting voters threatened the pocketbooks and political prestige of physicians more than Proposition ...

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