President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to provide "insurance to everybody" under his plan to replace Obamacare, The Washington Post reports.
"It's very much formulated down to the final strokes. We haven't put it in quite yet but we're going to be doing it soon," he said. People covered under the law "can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better."
Trump also promised to force pharmaceutical companies to directly negotiate drug prices with the government for Medicare and Medicaid, stating "they're politically protected, but not anymore."
Mylan's (NASDAQ:MYL) efforts to preserve its EpiPen (epinephrine injection, USP) business with Cigna (NYSE:CI) has apparently fallen flat. The insurer just released its 2017 formulary and Mylan's branded offering will not be covered this year, Impax Laboratories' (NASDAQ:IPXL) generic version, priced at $200/two-pack, will get the nod.
The intense criticism the company endured over the EpiPen price prompted it to release its own generic version priced at $300/two-pack, but coming in second does not count with Cigna, unless Impax cannot meet demand, a not-unlikely scenario since it assembles the autoinjectors manually. Impax chief Mark Donohue says his firm has invested in more manufacturing lines and is "staying up with demand."
Mylan CEO Heather Bresch still blames others for EpiPen's high price. In a presentation at JPM17, she stated that "healthcare's pricing model and the interaction between the entire supply chain needs to be revisited." Adding that "EpiPen started an important discussion and dialogue." Indeed.
Cigna (NYSE:CI) expects growth of 300,000 to 500,000 total medical customers over 2016, an increase of ~100,000 customers in the U.S. individual business and a decline of ~50,000 Medicare Advantage customers.
It expects 2016 GAAP net income and non-GAAP operating income to be in the range of $1.87B to $1.94B and $2.025B to $2.095B, respectively.
Upping the ante on his calls to reform the veterans health care system, President-elect Donald Trump convened a meeting on Wednesday to explore additional ways to enable veterans to obtain private medical treatment.
"We think we have to have kind of a... public-private option," a senior transition official told reporters. "It's one of the options on the table."
Federal health officials are touting a record 6.4M customer sign-ups on HealthCare.gov so far this open enrollment season (not including re-enrollments and individual markets), topping last year's pace by 400K customers.
Trump has said he wants to replace Obamacare after its repeal with something "better," but it's still not clear what such a replacement would look like.
Healthcare stocks, the weakest sector this year, may become winners, as Obamacare reforms are set to be "repealed and replaced" and major legislation Clinton proposed is unlikely to be imposed on drugmakers.
While Trump hasn't set out a comprehensive alternative to the Affordable Care Act (which may see 22M Americans lose current coverage), he said he'll encourage competition between markets in different states.
Not only are Obamacare premiums on the rise for 2017, deductibles will also be getting more expensive, according to an analysis by insurance comparison site HealthPocket.
Deductibles for individuals enrolled in the lowest-priced Obamacare health plans will average more than $6,000 next year, the first time that threshold has been cracked in the three years that Affordable Care Act marketplaces have been in business. Families enrolled in the bronze plans will average deductibles of $12,393.
The FDA's controversial approval of Sarepta Therapeutics' (NASDAQ:SRPT) eteplirsen for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients amenable to exon 51 skipping has translated into a difficult path to insurance coverage.
Humana says it will cover the $300K+ cost of therapy only for ambulatory DMD patients. Those who are wheelchair-bound or deteriorate to wheelchair status are apparently out of luck.
Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) has declined to cover it at all because it considers eteplirsen experimental despite the OK from the FDA.
Aetna (NYSE:AET) and Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) plan to conduct a full clinical review of the drug before deciding to cover. UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) is considering coverage with a prior authorization while Cigna (NYSE:CI) has only indicated interest in providing coverage.