Spotlight on Health Insurers
A weekly scan of actions taken by individual health plans
Spotlight on Health Insurers is a weekly review of news from the nation's leading health insurers, including coverage of exchanges, value-based health care arrangements, provider contracting and personnel changes. Subscribe now to get an issue delivered to your inbox every Thursday!

May 19, 2016

This week's topics: Health Insurance ExchangesHealth Plan BusinessPeople on the MoveProvider ContractingValue-Based Care

Health Insurance Exchanges

United Quits New Jersey Exchange
Bloomberg, May 19, 2016

UnitedHealth Group is exiting the New Jersey health exchange, making it the 27th state the insurer is abandoning for 2017.

Congress Inquires About CO-OP Viability
House press release, May 18, 2016
Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote letters to remaining CO-OPs like Oregon’s Health CO-OP and New Mexico Health Connections, asking for updates on their financial state.

New Mexico Blues Returns to State Exchange
Albuquerque Journal, May 17, 2016
Health Care Service Corp. unit Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico is rejoining the state’s exchange in 2017 after exiting last year when regulators denied a 52% rate hike request.

Aetna Expands to Maine Health Exchange
The Herald, May 17, 2016
Aetna Inc. is entering Maine’s exchange market in a number of counties, marking a rare expansion as other major insurers make very public withdrawals.

Highmark Sues Feds Over Risk Corridor Payments
Highmark press release, May 17, 2016
Highmark Health is accusing the federal government of shirking its regulatory and contractual obligations when it failed to pay nearly $223 million the insurer claims it’s owed.

United Exits Indiana Exchange
Indianapolis Business Journal, May 16, 2016
UnitedHealth Group is adding Indiana to the growing list of state exchanges that it is not participating in for 2017.

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Health Plan Business

Optum Wins CalPERS Contract
CalPERS press release, May 18, 2016
UnitedHealth Group’s Optum, Inc. won a five-year, $4.9 billion drug benefits contract from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, beating out incumbent CVS Health.

Anthem Opens Innovation Studio
Anthem press release, May 18, 2016
Anthem, Inc. is launching a 6,500-sq. ft. innovation studio in Atlanta to incubate new ideas aimed at improving the consumer experience and reducing costs by leveraging data and technology.

Independence Adds Tuition Benefit
Independence press release, May 18, 2016
Independence Blue Cross is adding a college tuition benefit for its employer clients, whose employees can accumulate tuition rewards applicable toward one year of college at more than 350 institutions.

Magellan Agrees to Buy Armed Forces Services Corp.
Reuters, May 16, 2016
Magellan Health Inc. is planning on purchasing Armed Forces Services Corp. in a deal valued at $117.5 million.

Aetna, Anthem Face Shareholder Questions on Political Contributions
Modern Healthcare, May 14, 2016
Aetna and Anthem shareholders are confronting the two insurance giants with questions about their political spending in proposed shareholder resolutions.

Wellmark Warns of Steep Increases
The Des Moines Register, May 12, 2016
Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield sent letters to customers warning them of potential increases of up to 43%, also saying that one customer is costing the insurer $1 million per month.

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People on the Move

Arkansas Blues Names Two New Execs
Arkansas Blues press release, May 10, 2016
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield named David Jacobsen vice president of Medicaid business development and strategy and Connie Meeks, M.D., chief medical officer.

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From the AIS Blogs

There’s plenty of drama in Medicare. What topics or issues do you view as being of utmost importance to MA stakeholders? Join the conversation at the AIS Blogs.

Provider Contracting

United, Ochsner Reach Contract Agreement
New Orleans City Business, May 16, 2016
UnitedHealth Group and Ochsner Health System reached a deal to renew their contract affecting 3,000 Louisiana residents.

Highmark Integrates Mental Health With Quartet
Highmark press release, May 13, 2016
Highmark is partnering with behavioral health services company Quartet to help providers identify behavioral health issues and integrate necessary services.

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Four user-friendly training modules on value-based care — the most powerful health care payment trend in a generation

Value-Based Care

Cigna Inks Accountable Care Deal With Florida Physicians
Cigna press release, May 16, 2016
Cigna Corp. is teaming up with Integrated Independent Physicians Network, LLC to reduce gaps in care and improve outcomes.

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Have breaking news or an editorial question? Email Executive Editor Jill Brown at If you are interested in advertising in SPOTLIGHT ON HEALTH INSURERS please contact Bailey Sterrett at

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