Seeking Alpha
 

Aetna, Inc. (AET)

- NYSE
  • Apr. 9, 2014, 7:47 AM
    • People who bought Obamacare coverage early were more likely to receive treatments for pain, depression and HIV, a study by Express Scripts (ESRX) shows.
    • The data indicates that the early enrollees have more serious health problems and are older than people with employee plans.
    • However, the report doesn't cover those who signed up later, who tended to be younger and presumably healthier, according to anecdotal evidence.
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MO
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 11 Comments
  • Apr. 4, 2014, 8:06 AM
    • New York joins 12 other states restricting out-of-network heath care providers from billing patients for the difference between their charges and the insurer's reimbursement.
    • This happens most frequently in emergency cases where patients are unable to choose their doctors.
    • The Affordable Care Act doesn't address this specific problem but stipulates network adequacy requirements so patients have a greater probability of having a network clinician treat them.
    • The problem is complex due to the wide range of reimbursement rates.
    • (AET) (HNT) (HUM) (UNH) (WLP) (MOH) (CI) (WCG)
    | 1 Comment
  • Apr. 2, 2014, 3:16 AM
    • The government has met its goal for signing up 7M people for Obamacare by the end of March, with at least 7.1M people enrolling despite the technical chaos that accompanied the launch of the policy last year and then on Monday.
    • The number could rise further, as people finish the process even though the latest deadline has passed, and it doesn't include complete final-day figures from state exchanges.
    • Critics of the Affordable Care Act say key information is missing, such as how many people have paid premiums, how many already had insurance, and which plans have been bought.
    • Health insurers fear that they will have to sharply raise premiums for 2015 and beyond, as they haven't signed up enough young and healthy people who are less likely to need care.
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 4 Comments
  • Apr. 1, 2014, 8:57 AM
    • The government's HealthCare.gov received over 4.8M visitors yesterday while the telephone center took 2M calls as people rushed to sign up for Obamacare health coverage ahead of last night's deadline.
    • However, the enrollment process was again mired in chaos, as the Web site went down at least twice and was out for several hours.
    • Those who started the enrollment process but didn't complete it will be allowed to do so, providing more uncertainty for health insurers.
    • With 6M people having bought coverage by last week, the government could reach its target of signing up 7M people by around this point in the process.
    • However, an estimated 45M Americans still remain uncovered.
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 12 Comments
  • Mar. 31, 2014, 2:24 AM
    • Two million people visited the government's HealthCare.gov Web site ahead of tonight's deadline to sign up for Obamacare coverage for 2015. Those who don't could face penalties of up to 1% of their annual income.
    • Around 6M had enrolled as of March 27 - although not necessarily paid - meaning that the White House could reach its original goal of signing up 7M to Obamacare by the end of today.
    • Last week, the government extended the deadline, saying it would enroll anybody who began the process before witching hour tonight.
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 2 Comments
  • Mar. 25, 2014, 8:14 AM
    • A number of states that operate health-insurance exchanges could allow consumers to buy coverage for 2014 after next Monday's deadline.
    • Part of the reason is that some states are sill suffering technical problems, including Nevada and Oregon.
    • The new extensions would follow the massive delays and technical problems that hit the launch of Obamacare late last year.
    • The federal government hasn't yet said whether those purchasing plans on its Web site will receive more time.
    • Consumers who don't buy coverage for next year face fines of $95 or 1% of their incomes.
    • Meanwhile, insurers around the country are on a drive to sign people up.
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 1 Comment
  • Mar. 25, 2014, 3:15 AM
    • The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington is set to hear arguments today that Obamacare subsidies in the 36 states that haven't set up their own exchanges are illegal.
    • Plaintiff arguments hinge on the meaning of a directive that subsidies should go to income-qualified people enrolled in exchanges "established by the state."
    • So far judges have ruled that the federal government can provide subsidies to exchanges not created by individual states.
    • Still, if the government loses, says Ron Pollack of advocacy group Families USA, "the effort to expand insurance coverage in the vast majority of the states would pretty much be halted."
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 1 Comment
  • Mar. 24, 2014, 7:27 PM
    | 30 Comments
  • Mar. 12, 2014, 9:17 AM
    • The government last week "quietly excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty," the WSJ discovers after being alerted to a change buried deep in a technical bulletin.
    • Americans whose coverage was cancelled because of Obamacare are allowed to "opt out of the (individual) mandate altogether" until 2016 under certain conditions that seem to be fairly lax. That opt out was only supposed to last a year.
    • However, these people would have to enroll in catastrophic coverage, which was initially designed for the under-30s and "the truly down and out."
    • Meanwhile, 940,000 people signed up for Obamacare plans in February, bringing the total to 4.2M.
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 10 Comments
  • Mar. 11, 2014, 7:49 AM
    • The White House has dropped a proposal to permit insurers to limit Medicare coverage for certain types of pharmaceuticals, including drugs for depression and schizophrenia.
    • Medicare argued that the measure would have saved money, but the Administration ran into trouble with patients, drug firms and members of Congress from both parties.
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH.
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 1 Comment
  • Mar. 6, 2014, 9:07 AM
    • As flagged, the White House has said consumers will be able to keep healthcare coverage that doesn't meet the standards laid down under Obamacare until October 2017 if their states permit it.
    • The plans were originally supposed to have been canceled at the end of last year, but were given a reprieve following an uproar.
    • The latest extension prevents a new set of cancellations before the mid-term elections later this year.
    • More on Obamcare
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH.
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 3 Comments
  • Mar. 5, 2014, 9:07 AM
    • The White House is set to allow consumers to extend health-insurance coverage that doesn't comply with Obamacare to beyond the end of this year, Reuters reports.
    • The government could even allow the plans to be lengthened for another three years, which would postpone any cancellations to after the 2016 presidential election.
    • Last autumn, insurers canceled coverage for millions of people because of the non-compliance of their plans, causing uproar and prompting President Obama to allow ineligible coverage for another year.
    • Insurers weren't happy about the original u-turn and might not be too pleased with the latest one, due to fears about the impact on risk profiles.
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH .ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | Comment!
  • Feb. 28, 2014, 2:03 PM
    • Aetna, Inc. (AET) declares $0.225/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
    • Forward yield 1.23%
    • Payable April 25; for shareholders of record April 10; ex-div April 8.
    | Comment!
  • Feb. 23, 2014, 4:14 AM
    • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed cutting 2015 base payment rates for the Medicare Advantage program for senior citizens by 3.55%.
    • The proposal is subject to negotiations, with a final decision due in April.
    • "The final cut may be bigger, as the proposed rate doesn't take into account adjustments required by the Affordable Care Act," says Bloomberg Industries analyst Michael Manns.
    • Last year, the government increased 2014 base payments by 3.3% after initially proposing a 2.2% fall, although actual payments are falling 6.7% due to a new Obamacare tax and sequestration.
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH.
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 10 Comments
  • Feb. 10, 2014, 2:19 PM
    • Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA +4.9%) and Japanese partner say their Belviq weight loss drug will be available to more people thanks to an agreement with pharmacy benefits manager CVS Caremark (CVS +0.6%), which means more than half of all Americans with insurance should now have access to the drug.
    • Aetna (AET) recently announced it would offer Belviq as a preferred brand to eligible patients as part of its pilot program to self-insured plan sponsors.
    • Belviq is approved for use in adults who are obese or who are overweight and have at least one serious medical condition, such as diabetes or high cholesterol.
    | Comment!
  • Feb. 6, 2014, 2:56 PM
    • Aetna (AET -0.3%) expects to lose money in the first year of its business in the Obamacare marketplaces this year, with the demographics of enrollees skewing slightly more than expected toward people likely to rack up higher costs, CEO Mark Bertolini says in today's earnings call.
    • AET, which is participating in consumer exchanges in 17 - more than any other carrier - says it has signed up ~135K paid members through the end of January out of nearly 200K who began the enrollment process.
    • The comments add to a mixed picture from insurers on the new health exchanges: WellPoint (WLP +0.9%) has said the risk pool of the group generally is matching its expectations, while Humana (HUM +0.8%) has warned that the risk profile likely would be worse than it had originally projected.
    | 7 Comments
Visit Seeking Alpha's
AET vs. ETF Alternatives
Company Description
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.
Sector: Healthcare
Country: United States