Payers Using Public Price Hikes to Address Rising Cost of Doing Business on Exchanges

With insurers still reeling from paying out more in claims than they attract in premiums on the Obamacare exchanges, they’re using public price increasing requests to argue their case. They’re doing so in hearings all over the country while facing difficult questioning from state officials and consumers who struggle to understand why, each year, the payers request rate increases. Full Story

PwC: Healthcare Spending Growth Flat in 2017, But Two Emerging Trends May Change That

Global consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers anticipates another year of flat growth for healthcare spending among employees in sponsored plans, but high performing narrow networks and the increased access to outpatient centers will likely move the needle one or the way other in the years to come. Full Story

From the Magazine: LaMonte Thomas, Head of Cigna’s N. Texas Division, on His Passion

As a young boy, LaMonte Thomas watched in awe as locomotives passed by his middle school. He dreamed of jumping aboard and taking off for destinations unknown. His fascination with trains has stuck with him through the years, and provides the basis for his favorite pastime—model railroads. Now in his 20th year at Cigna, he serves as president and general manager for North Texas and Oklahoma. Thomas first discovered the world of model railroads at a train show in Virginia. Full Story

Report: DOJ Will Block Mergers Between Aetna and Humana, Anthem and Cigna

Citing an anonymous “person briefed on the matter,” the DOJ expects to file lawsuits against the two mergers by the end of next week. The feds are seeking to block Aetna’s $37 billion acquisition of Humana and Anthem’s proposed $48 billion buy of Cigna, citing concern over antitrust violations. Full Story

Cigna Launches New Physician Services Company

The insurance giant announced Thursday that it would be combining the assets and personnel from Cigna’s HealthSpring and QualCare Alliance Networks, both of which are focused on helping providers transition into value-based payment models, to form a new company called CareAllies, Inc. Full Story