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Another way insurance regulation benefits health insurers — not patients

We’ve written many times about how profitable Medicare Advantage plans have been for insurance companies. In part, it seems because they are excellent at taking regulations intended to benefit consumers and managing… Read More

Hey North Carolina, where’s the outrage on insurance increases?

Only in the insurance industry can a business secure a $500 million-dollar profit and demand that consumers pay more. According to a September 1 article published in North Carolina News, Blue Cross… Read More

The Fallacies of Folwell, Part Deux

Provider Relief Funds (PRF) have allowed many of North Carolina’s hospitals to continue operating when they otherwise would have buckled under the burden of COVID-19. Unfortunately, North Carolina Treasurer Dale Folwell doesn’t… Read More

N.C. State Health Plan Report Lacks Critical Context

Dale Folwell, North Carolina’s Treasurer, recently commissioned and endorsed the findings of a one-sided, short-sighted report. Its title, ‘North Carolina Hospital Systems Enjoyed Record Profits During Pandemic,’ smells of click-bait. It’s curious… Read More

Surprise! But not the good kind

You got your COVID-19 vaccine. You get your COVID-19 tests as necessary. Due diligence has been served, right? Well, don’t look behind you—here come the COVID-19 testing bills (and collection agencies). Per… Read More

We have a hospital bed pile-up… that could easily be prevented

In a time when the Delta variant is raging and post-acute patient care is needed most, this is not the time for setbacks or bureaucracy. Leave it to insurers, though: Medicare Advantage… Read More

Who is responsible for preparing states for healthcare “storms”?

Storm preparation is a major priority for many cities across the nation, and rightly so. But where’s the preparation for healthcare “storms,” like COVID-19? Mississippi has what’s believed to be the weakest… Read More

Our take on Michigan insurers: “Another COVID-19 surge? Sounds like a ‘you’ problem…”

We sure hope you’re vaccinated, Michiganders! (And hope you don’t catch a breakthrough infection, despite your best efforts.) Your state’s two largest carriers are sunsetting COVID-19 cost waivers. You heard that right.… Read More

A denial for health insurers’ COVID-19 testing denials

We’ve recently shared a string of examples, from insurers dodging reimbursement for kids’ COVID-19 tests to insurance giant Cigna being sued into covering tests. Now the issue has reached the point where the… Read More

Miserly coverage for COVID-19 testing for children puts pediatricians in a no-win situation

In October, we shared a story about insurers actively blocking access to care and refusing to fully cover COVID-19 tests. Now, there are reports of insurers denying coverage for kids while passing the… Read More

Anthem reports decrease in profits for Q4, but that’s not the full story

Anthem recently reported $551 million in 2020 Q4 profits, a drop of 41% compared to the $943 million the insurer reported in Q4 of 2019. While at first glance, 41% may appear… Read More

More than 500 rural hospitals at risk for closure before pandemic hit

Stories of rural hospitals being forced to shutter their doors because of financial strain are unfortunately becoming more and more commonplace, but this latest data from the Center for Healthcare Quality and… Read More

Massachusetts governor acts to protect virtual care coverage

In October of 2020, we covered a story about health insurers rolling back coverage for telehealth services, right as demand was skyrocketing due to COVID-19. During the pandemic, virtual visits have been… Read More

UnitedHealthcare just cut thousands of emergency room docs from their 2021 network

We rang in 2021 with yet another big move by UnitedHealthcare: its decision to cut Envision Healthcare from its network after the two companies were unable to come to an agreement regarding… Read More

Survey indicates COVID-19 pandemic adding to insurance cost burdens

A new survey from The Commonwealth Fund (reported on in Healthcare Dive) brings more bad news from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The survey confirms what we already knew—that insurance premiums and deductibles… Read More

The five most important things to know about hospital financial losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Earlier this month, we covered a Becker’s Hospital Review article about the more than 30 hospitals forced to file for bankruptcy this year and described the factors that could put hospitals in… Read More

This is how much revenue United projects for 2021. Spoiler: it’s a lot

It’s been well documented that insurers have profited from a drop in care utilization during the pandemic, while providers experienced a sharp drop in revenue with many elective procedures being postponed or… Read More

Public opposition to new lab coding policy pushes UnitedHealthcare to hit pause

Back in November, we covered a Health Leaders story about a new lab coding requirement UnitedHealthcare planned to implement in early 2021, smack in the middle of cold and flu season and… Read More

Cigna sued for refusing to cover COVID-19 testing

Life as we knew it completely changed in March, when the country began navigating the new normal of living in a pandemic. The novel coronavirus completely dominated the spring news cycle, and… Read More

What if a COVID-19 diagnosis could be used against health plan members?

If the ACA is struck down by the Supreme Court, the protection it provided for people with pre-existing conditions will no longer exist. Insurers will go back to being able to charge… Read More

As virtual doctor’s visits rise in popularity, major health insurers change the rules

Up until COVID-19 hit, utilization of virtual care was extremely low. Most people had never tried telehealth; some weren’t even aware that they could connect with doctors and nurses from their phones… Read More

Humana rides senior population to record quarterly profits

Many articles that call attention to insurers’ huge profits during the pandemic have singled out UnitedHealthcare, but United is not the only payor to see profits rise as a result of delayed… Read More

Health insurers stockpile savings while hospitals battle costly pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals and health systems have fully embraced their role in responding to the public health crisis, moving mountains to offer community testing services and providing care for patients… Read More

UnitedHealth’s pandemic profit ride reveals wrongs of the system

Despite having offered what it characterizes as “extensive” financial assistance to its policyholders throughout the pandemic, UnitedHealthcare’s profits remain substantial nine months into the country’s battle with COVID-19. The Los Angeles Times… Read More

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Insurer policies limit coverage and disrupt patient care, while producing record profits for corporate shareholders. Stay informed with the Un-covered newsletter.