More on the Supreme Court healthcare opinion: The bottom line: the entire ACA is upheld, with the exception that the federal government's power to terminate states' Medicaid funds is narrowly read. The Supreme Court's live blog is here.
Healthcare shares are down ahead of the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare, which is due very soon, with the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) -0.5%. Among insurers, UnitedHealth (UNH) is -1.7%, Aetna (AET) -1.1%, and Coventry Health Care (CVH) -0.8%.
An Ohio court backs a request from Aetna (AET +1.2%) to stop the state from proceeding with lucrative Medicaid contracts that were tentatively awarded to five health plans. Aetna's lawsuit follows the state awarding the firm a contract in April but then backtracking on it this month.
Leerink downgrades a couple healthcare stocks today on valuation, citing concerns over the pending Supreme Court ruling. Leering thinks the individual mandate could be overturned by itself, which could pose a potential near-term risk to the companies. It cuts both Wellpoint (WLP -0.5%) and Coventry Health (CVH +1.2%) to Market Perform (I, II).
Aetna (AET) has been awarded a group Medicare Advantage contract with the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, effective January 1, 2013. The conversion of existing members to the Medicare product could yield the company over $800M in additional Medicare premiums in 2013.
Aetna (AET -1.8%) CEO Mark Bertolini says the relationship between health insurers and providers has to change, with each side doing what they do best. And if they can worth together, "we'll do far more in reducing health-care costs than anything the Affordable Care Act would do," Bertolini tells the WSJ.
Humana (HUM) and Aetna (AET) yesterday joined UnitedHealth (UNH) in saying that they would offer some Obamacare provisions regardless of whether the Supreme Court voids all or part of the Act, including free preventative care. However, WellPoint (WLP) and Cigna (CI) are holding back on any pledges until after the court rules. (previous)
Centene (CNC) +11.1% premarket after receiving notification from Ohio that it will be awarded a Medicaid contract in the state in 2013. The reversal of an earlier decision is vital for Centene and Molina (MOH +19.3%), which received similar news, since both health care providers have large presences in Ohio. Aetna (AET) was dropped from Ohio's list of Medicaid plans that will serve starting Jan. 1.
Sequenom (SQNM) says the recently announced provider network participation agreement with Coventry Health Care (CVH) has been terminated without cause by Coventry. The agreement was intended to provide members in the network with coverage for Sequenom CMM's MaterniT21 PLUS laboratory-developed test. SQNM -7.8% AH.
Humana (HUM -2.5%) slips after Goldman downgraded the stock to Neutral this morning due to margin concerns and risk of lower funding levels under health reform. The firm sees better upside potential in Health Net (HNT -2.5%), Coventry (CVH -1.4%) and WellCare (WCG -1.2%).
Coventry Health Care (CVH -8%) is one of the day's top losers, as a high-cost Medicaid issue in Kentucky overshadowed Q1 results and the insurer lowered full-year guidance. Susquehanna calls disclosures around the full-year outlook "ambiguous," saying it was "disappointed with how management handled the significant guidance reduction."
Aetna Inc. is a health care benefit company, which offers traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans.