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iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF (IHF)

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  • 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. 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. 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. 14, 2014, 11:35 AM
    | 5 Comments
  • Feb. 11, 2014, 3:24 AM
    • The government has announced yet another delay to a crucial part of Obamacare, saying that businesses with 50-99 full-time workers won't have to provide health insurance to their workers until 2016. Some larger firms will have to cover at least 70% of employees by 2015 and 95% a year later.
    • The original plan was for companies to offer coverage this year, but in July, that was delayed until 2015.
    • The latest announcement was in response to pressure from firms and came after some businesses cut employee working hours to below 30 hours a week in order to avoid having to provide insurance.
    • More on Obamacare
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | Comment!
  • Feb. 10, 2014, 5:13 AM
    • Around 4.8M people aged 18-64 get no government help to buy medical insurance - because they earn too little to qualify for federal subsidies. However, they earn too much to receive benefits under state programs.
    • The gap is the result of 24 states deciding not to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
    • However, some states are revisiting their policies in order to cover the hole, which hospitals such as UAB Health System see as a threat to their revenues.
    • More on Obamacare
    • Hospital operators: HCA, CYH, THC, UHS, HMA, LPNT.
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 3 Comments
  • Jan. 19, 2014, 2:20 AM
    • At least two thirds of the 2.2M people who purchased health insurance from exchanges under Obamacare through December 28 already had coverage, preliminary surveys indicate.
    • In a McKinsey study, just 11% of people didn't have insurance previously. Affordability and technical problems were among the reasons why people didn't buy plans.
    • Around 48M Americans didn't have health insurance in 2012; Obamacare is expected to reduce that figure by 25M.
    • Meanwhile, the government is delaying yet another provision of the Affordable Care Act - one that prevents employers from offering better health benefits to senior management than to other staff. The reason is that tax officials haven't yet issued the regulations that companies need to abide by.
    • 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.
    | 108 Comments
  • Jan. 14, 2014, 4:24 AM
    • Just 30% of the people who have bought insurance under Obamacare are aged 34 or younger, while a third are 55 or older, a government report says.
    • That's a problem because the success of the Affordable Care Act hinges on signing up enough "young invincibles," who would need less care, in order to pay for the sick and elderly. The White House was banking on 40% of signups being aged 34 or less.
    • If the numbers don't balance out as needed, premiums could rise. Moreover, health insurers have until May to decide whether they will keep providing exchange plans in 2015.
    • Around 2.2M people bought coverage in the three months through December, 79% of whom received a discount due to federal subsidies.
    • 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.
    | 5 Comments
  • Jan. 7, 2014, 3:33 AM
    • National healthcare spending grew less than 4% for the fourth year in a row in 2012, rising 3.7% to $2.8T, a report by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services shows.
    • As a proportion of the total economy, expenditure edged down to 17.2% from 17.3%.
    • The authors of the report said that the continued slow increase in spending was due to the lingering impact of the recession but that Obamacare has had a limited effect. However, the White House said the figures vindicated the President's signature policy.
    • The authors were also cautious about whether the trend will continue, or whether growth will return to the higher levels experienced prior to the recession.
    • The cost of hospital care rose 4.9% in 2012 and that for doctors' services and outpatient clinics 4.6%, although spending on prescription drugs increased just 0.4%, due to patent expiries.
    • Relevant tickers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH, HCA, CYH, THC, UHS, HMA, LPNT, WAG, CVS, BIOS, RAD, MHS, PMC, OCR, MCK, CAH, ABC, ESRX, MHS, CAH.
    • ETFS: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 4 Comments
  • Jan. 5, 2014, 3:48 AM
    • Early reports from health providers and online medical booking service ZocDoc indicate that demand for care from those who bought insurance under Obamacare has been modest so far.
    • There have been fears that the technical problems of the government's HealthCare.gov Web site would cause a flood of patients who thought they had bought insurance to request care only to find that they weren't yet covered.
    • The actual pace of demand should give insurers more time to process the applications that they need to enter into their systems and issue membership cards.
    • More on Obamacare.
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH.
    • Hospital operators: HCA, CYH, THC, UHS, HMA, LPNT.
    • Pharmacies: WAG, CVS, BIOS, RAD, MHS, PMC, OCR.
    • ETFS: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 53 Comments
  • Jan. 1, 2014, 4:22 AM
    • More than 2.1M people have signed up for Obamacare-mandated health insurance, which has gone into effect today. That's an addition of 1.6M consumers in December, but somewhat below the 3.3M that was initially projected.
    • Administration officials also don't know how many people have paid, while insurers haven't received all the information they need about those who have bought plans. As a result, much confusion is expected when patients turn up for appointments, a situation the government is hoping to help alleviate with a toll-free call center.
    • Around 3.9M people are judged eligible for Medicaid and a related children's insurance program, although it's not known how many have signed up. Another 3M young Americans have coverage under their parents' plans.
    • More on Obamacare.
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH.
    • Hospital operators: HCA, CYH, THC, UHS, HMA, LPNT.
    • ETFS: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 27 Comments
  • Dec. 31, 2013, 4:09 AM
    • As of yesterday, only around half of those who had signed up for healthcare coverage offered by over 100 insurers in 17 states under Obamacare had paid for their plans.
    • As a result, confusion is set to reign when the coverage takes effect tomorrow and until insurers can process those payments and issue membership cards. Around 2M people have signed up for coverage.
    • Insurers are attempting to alleviate the situation for customers by saying they'll accept payment as late as January 31 for coverage that starts tomorrow.
    • Meanwhile, Pharmacy chains such as CVS Caremark (CVS) and Walgreen (WAG) will provide prescription medications to consumers who have started but not completed the sign-up process.
    • More on Obamacare.
    • Relevant company tickers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH. ETFS: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 5 Comments
  • Dec. 30, 2013, 4:12 AM
    • Over 1.1M people had signed up for health insurance under Obamacare via the government's HealthCare.gov Web site by the Christmas Eve deadline after 975,000 bought coverage this month.
    • Combined with those who acquired plans in Washington DC and 14 states that operate their own exchanges, around 2M people have obtained insurance. The government had hoped that 3.3M people would have signed up by now.
    • The next major test will come on Wednesday onwards, when the coverage is due to start. There are widespread concerns that patients will turn up for appointments and treatments only to find that their insurance application didn't go through properly, or that their new plans don't cover them for the care they want or need. As a result patients have been rushing to carry out tests, procedures and elective visits before the end of the year.
    • More Obamacare.
    • Relevant company tickers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH.
    • ETFS: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 13 Comments
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IHF Description
The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare Providers Index Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Dow Jones U.S. Select Health Care Providers Index.
See more details on sponsor's website
Sector: Healthcare
Country: United States
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