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From Drug Benefit News - Employers are projecting a 5% increase in the total cost of providing medical and pharmacy benefits in 2018, according to the National Business Group on Health (NBGH). That would make it the fifth consecutive year that health care costs rose 5% after plan design changes were implemented. Read more

From Health Plan Week - After years of preparation, UnitedHealth Group recently announced a CEO change. David Wichmann, president of the nation’s largest health insurer since 2014, will become CEO and a director of the company effective Sept. 1. On that date, Stephen Hemsley, the current CEO, will become executive chairman of the board of directors, a newly created post, and Richard Burke, the current board chairman, will become “lead independent director.” In its Aug. Read more

From Health Plan Week - Congress has set the stage for a September return to debate on stabilizing the individual health insurance market, with major changes to Medicaid funding or expansion taking a back seat. Read more

From Medicare Advantage News - As part of a major overhaul of its managed Medicaid program, Illinois intends to combine multiple managed care programs and extend them statewide through contracts awarded to five managed care organizations, down from 12 that currently serve the program. The state will contract with CountyCare Health Plan under a separate option to cover only Cook County. The Illinois Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) on Aug. Read more

From Specialty Pharmacy News - Although biosimilars have been hailed as a cost-lowering tool for expensive biologics, so far they haven’t quite achieved their full potential. But a second biosimilar to Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade (infliximab) that launched in late July may be the first true test — and so far, it looks promising. Read more

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