April

Analysts Expect Plenty of Insurer M&A but Few Big Deals

April 30, 2021

Industry analysts say they expect the environment for mergers and acquisitions in the health insurance sector to be “favorable” this year, and thus they anticipate “robust M&A activity” among firms that are eager to diversify their assets and modernize their technology.

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Washington’s Public Option Gets Mixed Results in First Year

April 30, 2021

Washington became the first state in the country to implement a public option on its individual exchange, with plans launching in the 2021 plan year. Experts say that it’s not yet clear whether the plans, which are available through contracts with carriers including UnitedHealthcare, are slowing premium growth.

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Centene’s 1Q Features Lots Of Pandemic Upside, Downside

April 30, 2021

Centene Corp.’s two dominant business lines — managed Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act exchanges — both were sources of significant headwinds and tailwinds in the first quarter of 2021, underscoring the often-contradictory impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health insurance sector.

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Wall Street Is Bullish on Humana Home Care Deal, 1Q Results

April 30, 2021

Humana Inc. plans to fully acquire home health provider Kindred at Home from private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS) and TPG Capital, the insurer said on April 27. (WCAS owns a controlling stake in MMIT, AIS Health’s parent company.) The insurer also reported strong financial results, with first-quarter adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $7.67 beating Wall Street’s projected consensus of $7.07, or $1.04 billion in pretax income.

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ACA Exchange Enrollment Was Up Even Before Pandemic SEP

April 30, 2021

Over 12 million people selected or were automatically reenrolled in health plans during the 2021 open enrollment period for Affordable Care Act exchange plans — which ended Dec. 15. — representing a 5% increase from 11.4 million sign-ups for the 2020 plan year, according to CMS. Texas, Hawaii, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida saw more than 10% increases. In addition, as of March 31 more than 528,000 people signed up for health insurance during the current special enrollment period related to the pandemic, which lasts through Aug. 15.

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News Briefs

April 30, 2021

✦ CMS on April 30 released the second half of the 2022 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for the Affordable Care Act exchanges, which caps consumers’ out-of-pocket costs at $400 annually. The Trump administration finalized the first phase of the omnibus rule that sets parameters for ACA exchange plans just days before President Joe Biden’s inauguration. The second phase of the rule also “includes several provisions to help consumers more easily distinguish between plan options and increase opportunities to qualify for future special enrollment periods,” according to the Biden administration. Read more at https://go.cms.gov/3eMwudB.

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