Apr. 17, 2014, 7:41 AM
- In response to insurers' reticence over covering behavioral interventions, California tightens its rules over insurance coverage for autism to improve access to treatment. Now, coverage must be on par with doctor visits despite the fact that most therapies are administered by non-M.D.'s.
- (AET) (HNT) (HUM) (UNH) (WLP) (MOH) (CI)
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)
Mar. 24, 2014, 7:27 PM
- As U.S. corporations sit on $1T-plus in cash and with many facing organic growth challenges, Morgan Stanley lists 44 multi-billion dollar cap companies it thinks have a high likelihood of receiving at least one tender offer over the next 12 months.
- In the energy sector: NFX, SD, TDW.
- In materials: CLF, AXLL, UFS, RGLD.
- Consumer discretionary: SBGI, WEN, TPX, EAT, BYI, DWA, JCP, AEO.
- Consumer staples: INGR, HAIN, HSH, WWAV.
- Health care: CELG, ESRX, WLP, REGN, ALXN, AET, CI, BDX, CERN.
- Financial: NSM.
- Tech: BRCD, ONNN, TIBX, SPWR, IM, JBL, SUNE, TER, ARRS, NSR.
- Telecom: CCI, SBAC, LVLT, WIN, FTR.
Feb. 26, 2014, 4:46 PM
Feb. 7, 2014, 8:49 AM
- Cigna (CI) -3.9% premarket after Q4 earnings dropped 11% as global health care margins slipped and it lost members from the prior quarter.
- Issues downside guidance for FY 2014, seeing EPS of $6.80-$7.20 vs. $7.32 analyst consensus estimate.
- The global health care segment, CI's largest, posted 6% higher premiums and fees; adjusted margin in the division fell to 5% from 6.7%, reflecting higher medical costs in its Medicare Advantage business.
- Premiums and fees revenue rose 6.7% to $7.28B; total overall revenue gained 7% to $8.15B.
- Total medical customers rose 1.2% to 14.22M from 14.05M a year ago, but fell from 14.3M in Q3.
Feb. 7, 2014, 6:01 AM| Comment!
Feb. 7, 2014, 12:05 AM
Feb. 6, 2014, 5:30 PM
Dec. 11, 2013, 12:08 PM
- "Any hopes of a roll-back of the 2% Medicare sequestration cuts were dashed as more details of the plan were revealed over the course of the evening," Deutsche's Scott Fidel notes, referencing the new U.S. budget agreement.
- "In fact," Fidel continues, "under the budget deal the 2% Medicare payment cuts will actually be extended by two years through 2023."
- Nevertheless, Deutsche doesn't think anyone was expecting much in the way of a roll-back anyway, and as such, the bank sees limited impact for MCO names.
- AET, CI, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP
Nov. 25, 2013, 3:40 PM
- "Because the President is looking for MCOs to work with the Administration in smoothing out the transition to the ACA, there is increasing investor perception that the sector may be to obtain some concessions in exchange for its help," UBS' A.J. Rice says, in a note on the managed care space.
- Rice likes Aetna (AET +1.2%) and Cigna (CI +1.4%) based on "strong visibility on future growth, limited ACA exposure, [and] company specific catalysts," while UnitedHealth (UNH +0.3%) is also Buy-rated.
- Price targets: AET, $82 (from $76); UNH, $84 (from $81); ELP $98 (from $87); HUM $95 (unchanged).
Nov. 21, 2013, 9:29 AM
- Aetna (AET) initiated at Overweight by Morgan Stanley. Price target is $83.
- WellPoint (WLP) initiated at Equalweight by Morgan Stanley. See also: WLP to reaffirm guidance.
- Cigna (CI) started at Overweight by Morgan Stanley. Price target is $100.
- Humana (HUM) started at Equalweight at Morgan Stanley.
- Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE) started at Buy at CRT Capital. Price target is $11.
- Cardinal Health (CAH) initiated at Hold at Deutsche Bank. Price target is $66.
- Charles River Labs (CRL) started at Hold at Deutsche Bank. Price target is $55.
- althenahealth (ATHN) started at Buy at Deutsche Bank. Price target is $162.
- UnitedHealth (UNH) started at Overweight at Morgan Stanley. Price target is $84.
- Centene (CNC) started at Equalweight at Morgan Stanley.
- Amicus Therapeutics (FOLD) cut to Neutral from Buy at Janney. Price target is now $2.50. See also: FOLD revises terms of Glaxo deal, outlines acquisition, financing.
Nov. 21, 2013, 4:34 AM
- President Barack Obama might have said that consumers will be allowed to keep canceled health-insurance policies for one more year, but at least five states - including New York and Washington - won't let such plans be reinstated, as they believe it would harm their exchanges.
- Many carriers are also not allowing their customers to extend their old policies, due to time constraints and other obstacles. And those firms that may reverse the cancellations have said that premiums could rise.
- Of the major players, Cigna (CI) could reinstate policies, while WellPoint (WLP) is analyzing the situation.
- More on Obamacare.
- Relevant company tickers: AET, HNT, MOH, HUM, UNH
- ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
Nov. 17, 2013, 3:00 AM
- Aetna (AET) CEO Mark Bertolini was among 15 insurance chiefs who met with President Obama and reportedly expressed concern about his one-year reprieve for people whose policies were canceled because the plans didn't meet the requirements of the healthcare law.
- The fear is that the move will make it more difficult to attract the healthy customers who are seen as critical to the success of Obamacare.
- The CEOs at the meeting included those of Cigna (CI), WellPoint (WLP), Health Net (HNT) and Molina Healthcare (MOH).
- The meeting came after Congress passed a bill that would allow people to keep their existing policies through 2014. While the measure received strong Democrat support, it won't advance in the Senate, although members of the latter chamber have proposed similar legislation.
Nov. 12, 2013, 4:46 AM
- Fewer than 50,000 people had managed to enroll in private insurance plans via the government's problem-plagued HealthCare.gov Web site as of last week. The number represents less than 10% of the 500,000 people that had been projected.
- Twelve of the 14 states that are operating their own exchanges have signed up 49,000. The total is therefore also well below the initial target, which was 800,000. The Congressional Budget Office's prediction of 7M enrollments by March seems like a distant dream.
- Major health insurers are so concerned that they want to be allowed to sign up those who are entitled to subsidies directly rather than via the federal system. However, the administration isn't keen, due to privacy concerns.
- Insurers: Aetna (AET), WellPoint (WLP), UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Humana (HUM), Cigna (CI), Molina Healthcare (MOH).
- ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
Nov. 5, 2013, 9:26 AM
- Monness Crespi is out with downgrades for health insurers.
- Aetna (AET), Cigna (CI), WellPoint (WLP), UnitedHealth (UNH), and Humana (HUM) are all cut to Neutral from Buy.
- Most of the names are trading fairly close to their respective 52-week highs.
- % below 52-week highs as of Monday's close: WLP -3.5%, AET -8%, CI -6%, UNH -9%, HUM -5.7%
Oct. 31, 2013, 9:42 AM
- Shares of Cigna (CI +5%) rally as Q3 results top estimates.
- Revenues rise 10% Y/Y in Q3, while adjusted income from operations jumps 12%.
- Premiums and fees growth by segment: Global Health Care, +7%; Global Supplemental Benefits, +29%; Group Disability and Life, +9%.
- FY13 outlook: $6.70-6.90/share versus previous guidance of $6.25-6.65/share and against consensus of $6.65. (PR)
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