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The AIS Report on Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans
Today’s issue is brought to you by The AIS Report on Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, a hard-hitting independent monthly newsletter on new products, market share, management strategies, profitability, strategic alliances and executive compensation of BC/BS plans. (Not affiliated with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association or its member companies.) Sign up for a $72 two-month trial subscription today.

February 11, 2016

Today's Featured Story

Anthem Gains Members Despite Tumbling Exchange Enrollment
Reprinted from The AIS Report on Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans*

Blues plan operator Anthem, Inc. finished 2015 with 38.6 million members — 1.1 million more than it had at the end of 2014 — the company said Jan. 27 when it reported fourth-quarter earnings. Sustained growth in Anthem’s Medicaid managed care business more than offset larger-than-expected losses in the company’s individual insurance unit. Losses on the exchange side also dragged down earnings.... Read Full Story

* Not affiliated with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association or its member companies.


From the AIS Blogs

Can the FDA’s New Action Plan Reverse the Opioid Crisis?

From HHS’s multipronged effort to combat opioid abuse, to the somewhat controversial draft prescribing guidelines recently posted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the federal government appears to be tightening its focus on a worsening epidemic. Now, the FDA says it is taking “concrete steps” to address the public health crisis of opioids, which were involved in 28,648 deaths in 2014, according to new CDC figures.... Read more


Quote of the Day

UnitedHealth Group’s losses on the public exchanges have “nothing to do with the viability of exchanges. Remember, 80% of the exchange market is made of people who don’t pay the price. So these markets are totally stable; premiums are still well below what they were projected to be at this point. The markets are doing fine. It’s a shame that if United won’t be in, it will cause premiums to be somewhat higher than they would have been otherwise. But that in no way speaks to the fundamental viability of the exchanges. They are plenty viable.”

— Jonathan Gruber, Ph.D., a professor of economics at MIT and director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, told AIS’s Health Plan Week.

Click here to read the HEALTH PLAN WEEK article in which this quote appeared — "UnitedHealth’s ACA Exchange Losses Rise To $720M, but Muscular Optum Rolls On" (Free for HPW subscribers; $17 for non-subscribers)


Today's Datapoint

40% ... of providers said their IT budgets are increasing, according to an IDC Health Insights report released on Feb. 1.



Today from Washington

People on the Move
The George Washington University named Kevin Pelphrey inaugural director of the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute. He most recently was director of Yale University’s Center for Translational Developmental Neuroscience....Sam Nussbaum, M.D., joined Epstein Becker Green as strategic consultant for EBG Advisors, Inc. He previously was executive vice president of BJC HealthCare....Astellas Pharma Inc. promoted Astellas Pharma US President James Robinson to president of Americas operations for Astellas US LLC.

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