From Health Plan Week - Industry sources tell HPW that UnitedHealth Group is on the verge of buying Helios, a privately owned provider of workers’ compensation and PBM services to large health insurers and third-party administrators (TPAs), handling more than 7 million prescriptions per year. While the reported price tag of $1.6 billion to $1.7 billion raised a few eyebrows, sources say the logic of such a move, if it comes to pass, makes sense considering UnitedHealth’s laser-like focus on growing its Optum unit to even greater heights. Read more
From Health Plan Week - Health plan brokers anticipate a busy start to Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange open enrollment on Nov. 1. But they prepare with some angst amid concerns about commission cuts by certain plans in specific locales and sticker shock as consumers face higher premiums to help insurers keep pace with the costs of exchange business. Read more
From Health Plan Week - The health care industry overall is a hotbed of new ventures — research suggests the wearables market will reach $70 billion in the next decade, and the number of health care smartphone apps in the U.S. now exceeds 165,000. But health insurance remains practically untouched; while a number of start-ups target ancillary components such as electronic health records, wellness and health system navigation, only a few are attempting to launch… Read more
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