February 20, 2014 |
Insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross stretched its lead over rival Blue Shield of California in the state's healthcare-coverage exchange, new data show. Anthem signed up 223,630 people through Jan. 31, or 31% of California's exchange market as part of the healthcare law. Anthem is a unit of Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., the nation's second-largest health insurer. San Francisco insurer Blue Shield of California trails Anthem with a 29% share or 213,646 enrollees. Kaiser Permanente, the state's biggest HMO, is third with 131,448 exchange customers, an 18% share.
January 31, 2014 |
Insurance companies, bless their hearts, seem determined to remind us why we need the Affordable Care Act. The latest example comes from Anthem Blue Cross, which has just hit 306,000 customers in California with premium increases of up to 25%. As reported by my colleague Chad Terhune , the increases average 16% and are scheduled to kick in April 1, unless the state Department of Insurance jawbones Anthem into backing down. Here's the kicker: No one can blame these increases on the mandates of the Affordable Care Act, a popular argument among critics of the act. That's because the increases are for grandfathered policies exempt from the act. "It's a rich irony," says Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access, a leading California consumer advocacy group.
January 30, 2014 |
Thousands of Anthem Blue Cross individual customers with older insurance policies untouched by Obamacare are getting some jarring news: Their premiums are going up as much as 25%. These increases, 16% on average, are slated to go into effect April 1 for up to 306,000 people - unless California regulators persuade the state's largest for-profit health insurer to back down. Amid the fury last fall over canceled health policies, consumer advocates and state officials warned people that holding onto grandfathered policies purchased before the federal healthcare law was enacted in 2010 wouldn't shield them from significant rate hikes.
January 29, 2014 |
When Macklemore and company performed “Same Love” at the Grammys and Queen Latifah came out to cap it off with a mass wedding ceremony that included same-sex couples, Kevin Fallon at the Daily Beast wrote that “so many think pieces are going to be written about this performance.” He was right and that's totally fair: The dramatic shift in popular opinion on gay marriage is absolutely worth celebrating, even if the “Same Love” performance...
January 21, 2014 |
Before the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks at this year's Super Bowl, they will be serenaded by soprano Renée Fleming in a performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner. " Fleming has been tapped to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl, set for Feb. 2 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. A publicist for the soprano said it hasn't been determined yet if Fleming will be accompanied by musicians. The Super Bowl is to be broadcast on Fox, with kickoff time scheduled for 3:30 p.m. PST. PHOTOS: LA Opera through the years Fleming joins a long list of performers -- mostly pop stars, including Alicia Keys last year -- to have sung the national anthem at the Super Bowl.
January 15, 2014 |
Amid further delays for consumers, California's two largest health insurers extended payment deadlines once more for people who signed up for Jan. 1 coverage through the Covered California exchange. Anthem Blue Cross, a unit of industry giant WellPoint Inc., said it is giving new enrollees until Jan. 31 to pay their first month's premium. Kaiser Permanente, the state's largest HMO, extended the deadline to Jan. 22. Wednesday remains the official deadline for other policies purchased through the Covered California exchange, but its 11 insurers are free to grant extra time, and customers are urged to check with their specific health plan.