Yesterday, 2:22 AM
- The average premium for benchmark 2017 Obamacare insurance plans sold on Healthcare.gov will jump 25% to $302 compared to this year, the biggest increase since the insurance first went on sale in 2013.
- Seeking to downplay the cost hikes, the administration said that including subsidies 77% of people would be able to find insurance plans with monthly premiums below $100, however, one in five consumers will only have one insurer from which to choose coverage.
- Related tickers: UNH, AET, ANTM, CI, HUM, WCG, CNC, MOH, GTS, HQY
Fri, Sep. 30, 2:04 PM
Thu, Sep. 29, 2:49 PM
- Aetna's (AET -0.7%) made a hefty move toward Apple's (AAPL -1.5%) wearables platform, and it's having ripple effects on the competition.
- Aetna's choice to subsidize Apple Watches for select employers and individual customers during this healthcare enrollment season comes along with a decision to offer the watch for free to its nearly 50,000 workers (not to mention some privacy concerns around insurers having direct access to health measurements).
- The insurer is also pushing a number of iOS exclusive health apps and associated programs for managing health.
- That deal's also a "substantial negative" for Fitbit (FIT -9.5%), says Pacific Crest's Brad Erickson, who downgraded that stock to Underweight with a fair value of $11 (shares are trading off heavily at $15.11 today).
- Erickson says checks indicate Fitbit's flagship holiday offering, the Charge 2, is off to a slow start: "Inventory is accumulating in the channel and sell-through is below initial Blaze/Alta levels."
Mon, Aug. 29, 1:38 AM
- According to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly a third of U.S. counties will likely be served by only one insurer that participates in an Affordable Care Act marketplace in 2017, representing an increase from 7% this year.
- The data underscores the degree to which industry retrenchment from low enrollment and high service costs is curtailing options within the marketplaces.
- Insurer departures will likely lead to higher prices, analysts have warned.
- Related tickers: UNH, AET, ANTM, CI, HUM, WCG, CNC, MOH, GTS, HQY
Mon, Aug. 15, 9:52 PM
- Aetna (NYSE:AET) is pointing to losses as it decides to end Affordable Care Act participation ("Obamacare") in more than 500 U.S. counties -- about 70% of its participating counties.
- It's reducing public exchange participation to 242 counties from 778 for the 2017 plan year, maintaining an on-exchange presence in Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia. It will keep offering an off-exchange option in most of the counties it's taking off the public-exchange plan.
- “Following a thorough business review and in light of a second-quarter pretax loss of $200M and total pretax losses of more than $430M since January 2014 in our individual products, we have decided to reduce our individual public exchange presence in 2017, which will limit our financial exposure moving forward," said CEO Mark Bertolini in a statement.
- “Providing affordable, high-quality health care options to consumers is not possible without a balanced risk pool. Fifty-five percent of our individual on-exchange membership is new in 2016, and in the second quarter we saw individuals in need of high-cost care represent an even larger share of our on-exchange population," he continued -- noting the trend puts upward pressure on premiums.
Fri, Aug. 5, 12:57 PM
- The judge overseeing two U.S. cases challenging mergers among four of the biggest health insurers gave up one, saying he will keep the case against Aetna's (AET +2.4%) deal for Humana (HUM +2.8%) while leaving the challenge to Anthem’s (ANTM +0.7%) takeover of Cigna (CI -0.1%) to another judge.
- The decision is seen improving the odds for rulings on both mergers by year-end and lowering the chance that they fall apart beforehand.
- Judge Bates, a Republican who has ruled against the government in the past and has voiced skepticism of various Justice Department actions, is considered more favorable towards the proposed AET-HUM deal, while the judge assigned to the ANTM-CI case is a Democrat appointed to the bench by Pres. Obama.
Wed, Aug. 3, 5:04 AM
- Aetna (NYSE:AET) had become the last of the five major national health insurers to project a loss on Affordable Care Act plans for 2016, underscoring concerns about the stability of insurance marketplaces at the heart of the Obama administration's signature health law.
- Aetna also said it would re-evaluate its participation in the 15 state exchanges where it currently sells plans and cancel a planned expansion into more.
Tue, Aug. 2, 10:24 AM| Tue, Aug. 2, 10:24 AM | 1 Comment
Tue, Aug. 2, 6:02 AM
Mon, Aug. 1, 5:30 PM
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Thu, Jul. 21, 10:38 AM
- It's official. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed an antitrust suit in U.S. District Court in Washington, DC attempting to block the Anthem (ANTM +1.8%) and Cigna (CI +0.8%) merger and the Aetna (AET +0.9%) and Humana (HUM -0.4%) merger. In the complaint, the DOJ said the deals would be anti-competitive and would not be in the best interests of consumers.
- Unsurprisingly, the four companies take the opposite view.
Thu, Jul. 21, 5:27 AM
- With a decision on their merger expected within days, Aetna (NYSE:AET) and Humana (NYSE:HUM) remain in discussions with the DOJ, trying to convince federal regulators that their $37B deal will be good for seniors in the Medicare Advantage market.
- The insurers have pitched divestitures, with contracts ready to be signed for assets in markets where their coverage overlaps, but so far, the DOJ has not been convinced by the offers.
Tue, Jul. 19, 10:37 AM
- According to Bloomberg, the U.S. is preparing litigation to block the Anthem (ANTM -2.2%)/Cigna (CI -2%) and Aetna (AET -3.5%)/Humana (HUM -4.2%) mergers over antitrust concerns.
- Previously: Humana, Aetna slide on chatter over Justice Dept. meeting (July 7)
- Previously: Anthem-Cigna deal in jeopardy? (June 30)
- Update: The Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit on July 21 opposing both mergers.
Sun, Jul. 10, 9:47 AM
- WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) and Centene (NYSE:CNC) have made competing offers for the Medicare Advantage insurance policies - covering about 350K people - that Aetna (NYSE:AET) plans to shed in order to acquire Humana (NYSE:HUM).
- Aetna presented the divestiture plan on Friday, when meeting with DOJ officials in a bid to address their antitrust concerns.
Thu, Jul. 7, 12:55 PM
- Humana (NYSE:HUM) has tumbled, now down 7.8% in the past few minutes, on chatter that it and Aetna are to meet with the Justice Dept. to discuss "significant" concerns.
- Other insurers took a dip on the news. Aetna (NYSE:AET), set for a $37B takeover of Humana, has slid from positive ground to a 1.5% loss on the day. UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) is off 0.7%. Cigna (NYSE:CI) has fallen into the red, -0.4%.
- Reports had Aetna set to sell several billion dollars worth of assets to ease regulatory concerns over the deal.
Sun, Jul. 3, 2:50 PM
- via Barclays:
- "Although stocks in the U.S. and Europe have partially bounced back from the sharp selloff sparked by the U.K. referendum result, risks remain prevalent. [Analyst] Keith Parker foresees further equity downside alongside a prolonged market bottoming process, during which positioning is likely to turn much more defensive at active managers.
- "With this in mind, our stock screen this week highlights Overweight-rated stocks that screen defensively based on sector and equity beta but are also expected to generate superior ROE and free cash flows in FY1.
- "Our screen considers the following factors: i) Large-cap (US $5 billion+) stock in the consumer staples, utilities, telecom or healthcare sectors. ii) Adjusted beta less than 1.0. iii) Rated Overweight by Barclays equity research. iv) 15%+ ROE and 4.5%+ FCF yield expected in FY1, based on Barclays estimates."
- The stocks: Aetna (NYSE:AET), BT Group plc (NYSE:BT), Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH), Coloplast (OTC:CLPBF, OTCPK:CLPBY), CVS (NYSE:CVS), Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL), Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX), Glanbia (OTC:GLAPF, OTCPK:GLAPY), Grifols (NASDAQ:GRFS), Imperial Brands (OTCQX:IMBBY, OTCQX:ITYBF), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Ahold (OTCQX:AHONY, OTCQX:AHODF, OTCQX:AHOND), LabCorp (NYSE:LH), Perrigo (NYSE:PRGO), Telus (NYSE:TU), Unilever (UL, UN), UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH)
- See full table here.