This Week in Health Reform: Aetna Inc. (AET), WellPoint, Inc. (WLP), CIGNA Corporation (CI)

Aetna (AET)News about the Affordable Care Act continues floods the headlines, as health care providers, insurers, and government officials attempt to get things in place for the laws major provisions going into effect in 2014. The top stories don’t always directly involve public companies, but they’re usually sneaking around somewhere in the background.

Here are a few of this week’s top health care reform stories.

Florida hits Medicaid expansion snag
Gov. Rick Scott’s surprising turn toward Medicaid expansion ran into opposition this week. The state’s legislature voted against expansion as defined by the ACA, but several politicians indicated a willingness to find a different way to cover the same low income individuals. It’s still possible that the historically conservative state will opt-out of the expansion. But they might try to strike a deal similar to Arkansas, where the governor received federal approval to send beneficiaries to private insurance exchanges with Medicaid money.

Feds seek power to overrule premium rate hikes
Congressional Democrats reintroduced a bill  Wednesday that would grant the Department of Health and Human Services permission to block premium rate hikes from insurers. Some states have the power to overturn rates, but the federal government doesn’t.

The bill arrived as Californian politicians spoke out against forthcoming double-digit rate increases from Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) and a WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP) Blue Cross unit. State lawmakers currently lack the power to veto unfair increases, but the issue should be on the ballot next year. California will have a health insurance exchange, and participating insurers were supposed to submit their rates this month.

Both the legislature and the competitive exchange market may make it harder for the companies to make such rate raises in the future.

CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI) bows out of CT exchange
Speaking of state-run exchanges, CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI) announced that it won’t participate in Connecticut’s Access Health CT. The exchange may include 200,000 individuals looking for private insurance after the first of the year. Insurers who agree to join the state’s exchange have to stay for two years, which CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI) may have wanted to avoid. Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) and United Healthcare are among the insurers already signed up.

Health care spending slows
Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius wrote Thursday that health care spending is on the decline. Sebelius cited a USA Today study that said last year’s spending “rose at one of the lowest rates in a half-century”. The cause? If you’ve read the rest of this article, you can probably guess. (Hint: It has an acronym of ACA). Sebelius also noted reports from her own office, which have shown slow paces  for both Medicare and Medicaid spending per beneficiary.

The article This Week in Health Reform originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Brandy Betz.

Fool contributor Brandy Betz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends WellPoint. The Motley Fool owns shares of WellPoint.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months Click to see monthly returns in table format!

Lists

Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (QIHU), Actavis plc (ACT), Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) Among 20 Long Ideas from Sohn Canada

The 10 Laziest Countries in the World

The 10 Most Polluted Countries in the World

The 10 Most Dangerous Cities in America 2014

The Top 10 Gold Producing Countries in the World

The 10 Tallest Buildings in the World

The 10 Richest Stand Up Comedians in the World

The 10 Fattest Countries in the World

The 5 Best Summer Jobs for Teens

The 10 Most Religious Countries in the World Keeping the Faith

The 10 Most Educated Countries in the World

The 10 Most Popular Cell Phones in the World

The 10 Drunkest Countries in the World

The 10 Most Expensive Private Schools in the World

The 10 Smallest Countries in the World

Walking Dead Season 5 Spoilers You’ll Wish You Didn’t Know

The 10 Poorest Countries in the World

The 10 Greenest Countries in the World

The Top 10 Countries with the Highest Population in the World

The 10 Most Visited Countries in the World

The Top 10 Star Wars Characters in the Iconic Series

The 10 Most Expensive Android Phones in the World

5 Reasons Why The Illuminati Is Real and a Threat to Society

The 6 Scariest Halloween Costumes Ever Screamed At

The 4 Biggest Hedge Fund Managers in the World Today

The 15 Most Densely Populated Countries in the World

The 10 Biggest Tea Drinking Countries in the World

Top 6 Ways to Improve Your Checkout Process and Close Sales

The 5 Most Profitable Online Businesses You Can Start Today

The 20 Most Profitable Hospitals in the US

The 5 Most Profitable Home Businesses to Start

The 7 Teams that Will Win the Stanley Cup in 2015

The Top 10 Most Expensive Digital Cameras to Snap Stunning Shots With

The 10 Highest Quality Fast Food Restaurants In America Today

The 8 Best Halloween Decorating Ideas to Spook Up Your House

10 Marvel Women that Should Get a Movie Right Now

The 20 Best Remixes of Popular Songs that Will Make You Forget the Originals

7 Most Expensive Cities in the World

5 Least Expensive Cities in the World

10 Celebrities Who Believe In Scientology

10 High Margin Food Products to Build a Business Around

The 10 Most Expensive Clothing Stores in the United States to Get Decked Out At

The 5 Biggest Kickstarter Scams That Swindled Backers’ Donations

The 10 Most Expensive Boarding Schools In the World

50 Crazy Facts About Japan You Won’t Believe

Top 10 Least Expensive Hybrid Cars to Save the Planet With

The 10 Biggest ‘Gate’ Controversies in History

The 10 States with the Highest Nursing Shortages Leaving Their Hospitals Depleted

The 10 Best Value Investment Blogs that Every Investor Must Read

The 6 Cheapest Boarding Schools in Europe 2015

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!