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From Specialty Pharmacy News - Consumer advocacy groups in California and Florida have taken various actions against health plans and their coverage of HIV/AIDS drugs and requirements for members who take them. And while Consumer Watchdog and The AIDS Institute, in conjunction with The National Health Law Program (NHeLP), are taking somewhat different approaches, they are united in the contention that these members are being discriminated against, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) bans health plans from discriminating against people on the basis of disability. Read more

From Health Plan Week - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the latest Blues plan to create a proprietary private exchange, is playing both offense and defense in its health insurance delivery strategy — a move market consultants say other regional plans have followed and will continue to follow. The Blues plan on June 20 launched BlueBenefits Center, a single-carrier marketplace for employers with 50 or more employees. A small group option will… Read more

From Inside Health Insurance Exchanges - Two months after advocacy group Families USA urged HHS to extend future enrollment periods to better align with tax-filing season, a new study examines psychological barriers that could keep some enrollees from buying health coverage before the Feb. 15, 2015, enrollment deadline. Tax preparation firms tell HEX that there are several reasons HHS should permanently move the deadline into April. Read more

From Medicare Advantage News - Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA), which already has landed about 10,000 members in the new CMS-backed initiative for Medicare-Medicaid dual eligibles in Massachusetts, will get a $10 million loan from a new nonprofit investment fund to help meet state reserve requirements that will soar in light of this huge growth. Read more

From Drug Benefit News - While PBMs have been giving significant attention to the rising cost of compounded medications (see story, above), another traditional category that’s driving trend at an alarming rate is diabetes. According to recent trend reports, PBMs observed double-digit increases in diabetes drug costs in 2013, largely due to inflation. Read more

From Report on Patient Privacy - The scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that has so outraged the nation over veterans’ access to medical care also has pointed the spotlight on whistleblowers and a covered entity’s compliance with whistleblower protection laws. Read more

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