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Visit One News Page for Health Insurance news from around the world, aggregated from leading sources including newswires, newspapers and broadcast media. Search millions of archived news headlines. This feed provides the Health Insurance news headlines.

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    Solid gains from Medibank's health insurance businesses more than offset lower earnings from investments. Reported by The Age 8 minutes ago.

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    A prosecutor says a reputed Philadelphia mob boss profited from health insurance and gambling schemes despite his claims he had retired from a life of crime. Reported by FOXNews.com 3 days ago.

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    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to stabilize the individual health insurance marketplace received kudos from Milwaukee-area health care executives but his plan to require co-payments, drug-testing and work or job-training requirements on some Medicaid recipients did not. Reported by bizjournals 23 hours ago.

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    The Central government's 'Ayushman Bharat' health insurance scheme, or 'Namocare' as it is popularly known, would make India the largest drug maker in the world, said Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar on Thursday. Reported by Sify 17 hours ago.

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    The Ghana Parents Association for Childhood Cancer (GHAPACC) has called on Government to extend the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to cover the treatment of some childhood cancers. Reported by Myjoyonline 20 hours ago.

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    DGAP-News: Allianz SE / Key word(s): Preliminary Results

    16.02.2018 / 06:59
    The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
    --------------------

     

    · 2017 total revenues rise 3.0 percent to 126.1 billion euros
    · 2017 operating profit up 0.4 percent to 11.1 billion euros
    · 2017 net income attributable to shareholders down 2.3 percent to 6.8 billion euros
    · OLB sale, U.S. tax changes, foreign exchange, and natural catastrophes have one-off impact on 4Q results
    · Third-party net inflows reach record 150 billion euros in 2017, lifting third-party assets under management to 1,448 billion euros
    · Solvency II capitalization ratio 229 percent at end-2017 compared to 218 percent at end-2016
    · Management Board proposes dividend increase of 5.3 percent to 8.00 euros per share, compared to 7.60 euros per share for 2016
    · Allianz on track to deliver its three-year Renewal Agenda targets
    · 4Q 2017 total revenues rise 5.6 percent to 31.7 billion euros, operating profit down 8.0 percent to 2.8 billion euros

     
    *Management Summary: Strong business growth, high Solvency ratio in 2017*
     
    Allianz Group reported strong results for the full year 2017 due largely to higher performance in Asset Management and Life and Health. *Total revenues* for the Group rose 3.0 percent to 126.1 billion euros (2016: 122.4 billion) for the year, driven by improvements in all business segments. *Operating profit* edged 0.4 percent higher to 11.1 (2016: 11.1) billion euros in 2017, squarely in the upper half of the Group's announced target range of 10.3 to 11.3 billion euros. The Property and Casualty segment saw operating profit fall by 7.5 percent due primarily to higher natural catastrophe claims in 2017, the costliest year ever for the insurance industry. Claims stemming from California wildfires, hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria plus European storms and other natural catastrophes rose to 1.1 (2016: 0.7) billion euros for the year. *Net income attributable to shareholders* edged 2.3 percent lower to 6.8 (6.96) billion euros in 2017, influenced by the one-off impact of U.S. tax changes and effects from the sale of Oldenburgische Landesbank (OLB).
     
    *Basic Earnings per Share (EPS)* was 15.24 (15.31) euros for the year. The *Solvency II* *capitalization ratio* rose to 229 percent at end-2017 compared to 218 percent at end-2016. The Board of Management will propose raising the *dividend* by 5.3 percent to 8.00 euros per share for 2017 compared to 7.60 euros per share for 2016.
    Allianz again improved customer loyalty and experience measures in 2017, with the share of Group businesses whose *Net Promoter Score (NPS)* outperformed local markets rising 5 percentage points globally to 60 percent. The *Inclusive Meritocracy Index (IMIX)*, which measures leadership, performance and corporate culture, rose 2 percentage points in 2017 to 72 percent, the three-year target level for 2018. These measures reflect Allianz's efforts to serve customers and engage employees.
    "The Group met its performance targets, maintained an extraordinary level of capital strength and returned three billion euros to shareholders through share buybacks in 2017. These successes are largely due to the impressive efforts of Allianz employees and their pursuit of the goals we set out in our Renewal Agenda," said Oliver Bäte, Chief Executive Officer of Allianz SE.
     
    "Allianz also made important strategic strides, including an insurance joint venture in the United Kingdom with LV=, and continued expansion into fast-growing markets like Africa. We also increased our stake in Euler Hermes to over 90 percent, fortifying our engagement in property and casualty insurance," Oliver Bäte said.
     
    The *fourth quarter* was affected by one-off factors even as underlying performance measures continued to strengthen. *Total revenues* increased 5.6 percent on the year to 31.7 (fourth quarter of 2016: 30.0) billion euros, mostly driven by improvements in the Life and Health business segment. *Operating profit in the quarter* declined to 2.8 (3.0) billion euros, due in part to a 0.2 billion euro rise in claims from natural catastrophes, a rise in other weather-related claims, and lower investment results. *Net income attributable to shareholders* decreased to 1.4 (1.8) billion euros, affected by the one-off impact of U.S. tax changes and the sale of Oldenburgische Landesbank, which had a negative 210 million euro impact. Fundamental performance measures strengthened in the quarter, with the New Business Margin improving to 3.6 (2.9) percent compared to one year ago. In the Property and Casualty segment, the attritional loss ratio, which excludes volatility caused by natural catastrophes and run-off results, improved. The Asset Management segment saw its best operating result in four years in the fourth quarter.
     
    "Hurricanes, storms and wildfires hit the insurance industry hard in 2017, making it the costliest natural catastrophe year ever for the insurance sector," said Oliver Bäte. "We worked quickly to help our customers get back on their feet. This is the most fulfilling part of our business. For natural catastrophes alone, we paid out some 1.1 billion euros in customer benefits."
    Chief Financial Officer of Allianz SE, Giulio Terzariol, said: "The Group entered 2018 at cruising speed, placing our three-year performance targets within reach. We are confident that Allianz is well positioned to deliver strong financial results again this year. The Group aims to achieve an operating profit of 11.1 billion euros in 2018, plus or minus 500 million euros, barring unforeseen events."
     
    *Property and Casualty insurance: Natural catastrophes overshadow improvements *
     

    · *Gross premiums written* rose to 52.3 (51.5) billion euros in 2017. Adjusted for foreign exchange and consolidation effects, internal growth totaled 2.3 percent, with price and volume effects contributing 1.2 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.
    · *Operating profit* decreased by 7.5 percent to 5.1 billion euros in 2017 compared to the previous year, driven mainly by higher losses from natural catastrophes.
    · As a consequence, the *combined ratio* rose 0.9 percentage points to 95.2 percent.
     
    "Natural catastrophes, storms and weather-related losses played a big role in 2017. But underlying performance measures remain strong and we remain committed to our goal of improving the combined ratio to a sustainable 94 percent by the end of 2018," said Chief Financial Officer of Allianz SE, Giulio Terzariol.
     
    In the fourth quarter of 2017, *gross premiums written* increased slightly to 11.3 (11.2) billion euros. Adjusted for foreign exchange and consolidation effects, internal growth amounted to 5.1 percent, with price and volume effects contributing 1.8 percent and 3.3 percent respectively.
    *Operating profit* declined by 9.6 percent to 1.3 billion euros compared to the same period of the prior year due to a lower investment result and higher natural catastrophe claims. Adjusted for natural catastrophe claims, the combined ratio improved by 1.1 percentage points in the quarter to 91.7 percent.

     
    *Life and Health insurance: New business value growing strongly*
     

    · *Statutory premiums* in 2017 increased 4.1 percent to 67.3 (64.6) billion euros resulting from higher sales of capital-efficient products in Germany and growth in unit-linked premiums in Italy and Taiwan. Adjusted for foreign exchange and consolidation effects, statutory premiums increased by 7.0 percent.
    · *Operating profit* rose 3.1 percent to 4.4 (4.3) billion euros in 2017. The *value* *of new business (VNB)* grew 29.9 percent to 1.9 billion euros in 2017.
    · The *new business margin (NBM)* strengthened to 3.4 (2.7) percent in 2017.

    "Growth in the Life and Health business accelerated in 2017 along with the shift to more capital-efficient products. This approach is rewarding customers and shareholders alike," said Giulio Terzariol, Chief Financial Officer of Allianz SE.
     
    In the fourth quarter of 2017, *operating profit* decreased 13.5 percent to 1.1 (1.2) billion euros. *Statutory premiums* rose 8.3 percent to 18.6 billion euros. The *new business margin* rose to 3.6 (2.9) percent. As a result, the *value of new business (VNB)* increased 30.9 percent to 550 million euros compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.
     
    *Asset Management: Record third-party net inflows*

    · Compared to the end of 2016, *third-party assets under management (AuM)* grew by 87 billion euros to 1,448 billion euros. Highest ever yearly third-party net inflows of 150 billion euros and positive market effects outweighed negative foreign currency impact.
    · In 2017, *operating profit* rose 10.6 percent to 2.4 (2.2) billion euros, mainly driven by increased average third-party assets under management at PIMCO and at Allianz Global Investors, which led to higher net fee and commission income.
    · The *cost-income ratio (CIR)* improved 1.5 percentage points to 61.9 percent in 2017, as revenue growth outpaced the increase in expenses.

     
    "The year 2017 marked a milestone for the Asset Management segment. Third-party net inflows hit a record 150 billion euros for the year as customers were drawn to top performing funds," said Jacqueline Hunt, Member of the Board of Management of Allianz SE responsible for Asset Management and U.S. Life Insurance.
     
    In the fourth quarter of 2017, *operating profit* grew by 8.4 percent to 697 million euros, mainly due to higher assets under management driven revenues. Strong third-party net inflows of 45 billion euros and positive market effects outweighed negative foreign currency effects, resulting in 1,960 billion euros of total assets under management - an increase of 89 billion euros compared to year-end 2016. The *cost-income ratio* improved by 1.0 percentage point to 60.2 percent.
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    *Technical Notes:* Prior-year figures have been adjusted due to an updated operating profit definition and an accounting policy change, as already described in the first quarter of 2017.

     *Allianz Group - preliminary key figures 4th quarter and fiscal year 2017*

          *4Q 2017* *4Q 2016*
    *Total revenues *   *EUR bn* *31,7* *30,0*
    - Property-Casualty   EUR bn 11,3 11,2
    - Life/Health   EUR bn 18,6 17,1
    - Asset Management   EUR bn 1,7 1,7
    - Corporate and Other   EUR bn 0,2 0,2
    - Consolidation   EUR bn -0,1 -0,1
    *Operating profit / loss*^1,2,3 *EUR mn* *2.760* *2.998*
    - Property-Casualty^2 EUR mn 1.309 1.448
    - Life/Health^1,2,3   EUR mn 1.060 1.226
    - Asset Management^2   EUR mn 697 642
    - Corporate and Other^2 EUR mn -307 -302
    - Consolidation   EUR mn 1 -16
    *Net income*^1   *EUR mn* *1.524* *1.918*
    - attributable to non-controlling interests EUR mn 97 82
    - attributable to shareholders^1 EUR mn 1.427 1.836
    *Basic earnings per share*^1 *EUR* *3,24* *4,04*
    *Diluted earnings per share*^1 *EUR* *3,24* *4,03*
           
    *Additional KPIs*        
             
    - Property-Casualty Combined ratio % 94,5% 94,0%
    - Life/Health New business margin^7 % 3,6% 2,9%
    - Life/Health Value of new business^7 EUR mn 550 420
    - Asset Management Cost-income ratio^2 % 60,2% 61,2%

     

          *12M 2017*   *12M 2016*
    *Total revenues *   *EUR bn* *126,1*   *122,4*
    - Property-Casualty   EUR bn 52,3   51,5
    - Life/Health   EUR bn 67,3   64,6
    - Asset Management   EUR bn 6,4   6,0
    - Corporate and Other   EUR bn 0,6   0,6
    - Consolidation   EUR bn -0,4   -0,3
    *Operating profit / loss*^1,2,3 *EUR mn* *11.097*   *11.056*
    - Property-Casualty^2 EUR mn 5.053   5.464
    - Life/Health^1,2,3   EUR mn 4.412   4.277
    - Asset Management^2   EUR mn 2.440   2.206
    - Corporate and Other^2 EUR mn -783   -868
    - Consolidation   EUR mn -24   -23
    *Net income*^1   *EUR mn* *7.207*   *7.329*
    - attributable to non-controlling interests EUR mn 404   367
    - attributable to shareholders^1 EUR mn 6.803   6.962
    *Basic earnings per share*^1 *EUR* *15,24*   *15,31*
    *Diluted earnings per share*^1 *EUR* *15,23*   *15,18*
    *Dividend per share* *EUR* *8,00* *^4* *7,60*
    *Additional KPIs*          
    - Group Return on equity^1,5,6 % 11,8%   12,3%
    - Property-Casualty Combined ratio % 95,2%   94,3%
    - Life/Health New business margin^7 % 3,4%   2,7%
    - Life/Health Value of new business^7 EUR mn 1.882   1.448
    - Asset Management Cost-income ratio^2 % 61,9%   63,4%
          *12/31/17*   *12/31/16*
    *Shareholders' equity*^1,5 *EUR bn* *65,6*   *67,1*
    *Solvency II capitalization ratio^8* *%* *229%*   *218%*
    *Third-party assets under management* *EUR bn* *1.448*   *1.361*

     

      *Please note:* The figures are presented in millions of Euros, unless otherwise stated. Due to rounding, numbers presented may not add up precisely to the totals provided and percentages may not precisely reflect the absolute figures.
    ^1 Prior year figures have been adjusted in order to reflect the impact resulting from an accounting policy change to measure the Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit (GMIB) liability at fair value for our life business.
    ^2 In light of the new operating profit definition, restructuring charges are reported outside of operating profit unless shared with policyholders. Prior year figures have been adjusted accordingly.
    ^3 From the classification of our Korean life business as "held for sale" in 2Q 2016 until its disposal in 4Q 2016, the total result was considered as non-operating.
    ^4 Proposal.
    ^5 Excluding non-controlling interests.
    ^6 Excluding unrealized gains/losses on bonds net of shadow accounting.
    ^7 Current and prior year figures are presented excluding effects from the Korean life business.
    ^8 Risk capital figures are group diversified at 99.5% confidence level. Allianz Life US included based on third country equivalence with 150% of RBC CAL (Risk Based Capital Company Action Level) since September 30, 2015.
    These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided below.
     
    *Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements*
    The statements contained herein may include prospects, statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements that are based on management's current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements.
     
    Such deviations may arise due to, without limitation, (i) changes of the general economic conditions and competitive situation, particularly in the Allianz Group's core business and core markets, (ii) performance of financial markets (particularly market volatility, liquidity and credit events), (iii) frequency and severity of insured loss events, including from natural catastrophes, and the development of loss expenses, (iv) mortality and morbidity levels and trends, (v) persistency levels, (vi) particularly in the banking business, the extent of credit defaults, (vii) interest rate levels, (viii) currency exchange rates including the EUR/USD  exchange rate, (ix) changes in laws and regulations, including tax regulations, (x) the impact of acquisitions, including related integration issues, and reorganization measures, and (xi) general competitive factors, in each case on a local, regional, national and/or global basis. Many of these factors may be more likely to occur, or more pronounced, as a result of terrorist activities and their consequences.
     
    *No duty to update*
    The company assumes no obligation to update any information or forward-looking statement contained herein, save for any information required to be disclosed by law.
     
    *Other*
    The quarterly figures regarding the net assets, financial position and results of operations have been prepared in conformity with International Financial Reporting Standards.
    Information is based on preliminary figures. Final results for fiscal year 2017 will be released on March 9, 2018 (publication of the Annual Report).
     
    This is a translation of the German Quarterly and Full Year Earnings Release of the Allianz Group. In case of any divergences, the German original is binding.
      --------------------

    16.02.2018 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
    The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

    The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
    Archive at www.dgap.de --------------------

    Language: English
    Company: Allianz SE
    Königinstr. 28
    80802 München
    Germany
    Phone: +49 (0)89 38 00 - 41 24
    Fax: +49 (0)89 38 00 - 38 99
    E-mail: investor.relations@allianz.com
    Internet: www.allianz.com
    ISIN: DE0008404005
    WKN: 840400
    Indices: DAX-30, EURO STOXX 50
    Listed: Regulated Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt (Prime Standard), Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Stuttgart; Regulated Unofficial Market in Tradegate Exchange
     
    End of News DGAP News Service Reported by EQS Group 17 hours ago.

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    Copenhagen, 2018-02-16 07:00 CET (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  

    ALK (ALKB:DC / OMX: ALK B / AKABY / AKBLF) today announced that its partner for Japan, Torii, has gained approval from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, to expand the use of ALK’s house dust mite (HDM) sublingual allergy immunotherapy (SLIT) tablet MITICURE™ to include paediatric allergic rhinitis patients. 

    MITICURE™, which is sold by ALK as ODACTRA^TM in the USA and ACARIZAX^® elsewhere in the world, has been available in Japan since 2015 for adults and adolescents aged 12-64 who suffer from HDM-induced allergic rhinitis. The product has also been included on Japan’s National Health Insurance reimbursement list since 2015. 

    Henrik Jacobi, ALK’s Executive Vice President, Research & Development, said: “Since its original launch, MITICURE™ has steadily been finding favour with prescribers, and latest market reports from Japan show that the uptake has now reached encouraging levels and that our partner Torii has clear market leadership. The addition of a paediatric indication extends this innovative treatment option to an important new patient population, children, for whom the long-term effects of respiratory allergy can be particularly damaging.” 

    The application for paediatric use drew upon clinical data from a safety and efficacy trial involving approximately 400 patients aged 5-17 with HDM-induced allergic rhinitis. The randomised, multi-centre, placebo-controlled, double-blind, comparative trial met its primary endpoint, demonstrating a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in the ‘Total Combined Rhinitis Score’ compared with placebo, which showed that MITICURE™ reduced the symptoms of HDM-induced allergic rhinitis in children as well as reducing their use of other medications. The findings were in line with earlier data from trials involving older patients. 

    Since MITICURE™ is already on the market in Japan, no new launch is necessary and the product becomes available for paediatric use with immediate effect. 

    *ALK-Abelló A/S*
     

    *For further information please contact:*
    Investor Relations: Per Plotnikof, tel. +45 4574 7527, mobile +45 2261 2525
    Media: Jeppe Ilkjær, tel. +45 7877 4532, mobile +45 3050 2014 

    This information is information that ALK-Abelló A/S is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation.
     

    *About the HDM SLIT-tablet*
    MITICURE™ is approved in Japan for adults and paediatric use in patients who suffer from house dust mite-induced allergic rhinitis. Around the world, it is sold as ACARIZAX^®, except in the USA, where it is branded ODACTRA^TM. Outside Europe, the product has been approved in Japan, the USA and Canada, as well as in Australia, where it is licensed by ALK to Seqirus and Singapore, where it is licensed by ALK to Abbott. In Europe, it has been approved in 14 countries, many of which also include an indication for use in allergic asthma. The product is also being developed for a number of other markets including Russia, South-East Asia, Turkey, the Middle East and New Zealand. Altogether, clinical development activities for the HDM SLIT-tablet have involved more than 6,000 patients worldwide.

    *About ALK*
    ALK is a global specialty pharmaceutical company focused on allergy and allergic asthma. It markets allergy immunotherapy treatments and other products and services for people with allergy and allergy doctors. Headquartered in Hørsholm, Denmark, ALK employs around 2,300 people worldwide and is listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen. Find more information at www.alk.net. Reported by GlobeNewswire 16 hours ago.

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    Dependents of El Paso County employees killed on the job, including slain sheriff's Deputy Micah Flick, will continue receiving health insurance for up to a year at no cost, the board overseeing benefits decided unanimously Thursday. Reported by Denver Post 7 hours ago.

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    The Health Ministry today held consultations with States on National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS). The mega healthcare scheme was announced in the budget to provide health insurance cover of 5 lakh rupees to over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families. Reported by All India Radio 7 hours ago.

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    The latest release of 2017 ez1095 software released in both single user and network versions for printing and efiling ACA forms to the IRS. Visit http://www.halfpricesoft.com at no cost or obligation to test drive for up to 30 days.

    ATLANTA (PRWEB) February 17, 2018

    Business owners filing 1094 and 1095 ACA forms are accommodated with new ez1095 2017 (ACA) network version from Halfpricesoft.com. The latest network/multi user release is for growing companies that need more than one person processing the forms on different computers. (Either in the same office or different offices) See if the network version is for you in the informational link below:
    http://www.halfpricesoft.com/aca-1095/aca-ez1095-network.asp

    Ez1095 will print 1095C, 1094C, 1095B and 1094B forms paper printing, pdf printing and efiling for the upcoming tax season. (efiling is an additional charge). The application has been implemented and approved by the SSA to print on plain white paper, saving form costs.

    Ez1095 ACA software is compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista and other Windows system. Its quick data import feature saves customers valuable time and speeds up tax form filing.

    “ez1095 2017 ACA software has been released as a network version for processing forms in multiple offices.” said Dr. Ge, the founder of Halfpricesoft.com.

    Developer’s created ez1095 software to adhere to the requirements by the government to file forms 1094 and 1095 starting in 2016. ez1095 software’s graphical interface allows customers to set up company, add employees, add forms and print forms soon after download. Customers can also click form level help links to get more details regarding the software.

    Potential customers can download and try this software at no obligation by visiting http://www.halfpricesoft.com/aca-1095/form-1095-software-free-download.asp

    Paper print version includes-

    ACA filing for 2017
    Paper print form
    PDF printing for for ACA return and correction

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    Paper form print & PDF print
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    Multi-user efile version includes-

    All Single-user Efile version features
    Network: Multiple users can share data if needed

    General features include-· Print Form 1095 C: Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Insurance
    · Print Form 1094 C: Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns
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    · Print Form 1094-B: Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Return
    · Print recipient copies in PDF format.
    · Support unlimited companies.
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    · Print ACA forms 1095 and 1094 on blank paper with inkjet or laser printer.
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    Priced at just $195, ($295 for efile version) this ACA forms filing software saves employers time and money. To learn more about ez1095 ACA software, customers can visit http://www.halfpricesoft.com/aca-1095/aca-1095-software.asp

    About halfpricesoft.com
    Founded in 2003, Halfpricesoft.com has established itself as a leader in meeting the software needs of small businesses around the world with its payroll software, employee attendance tracking software, check printing software, W2 software, 1099 software and barcode generating software. It continues to grow with its philosophy that small business owners need affordable, user friendly, super simple, and totally risk-free software. Reported by PRWeb 12 hours ago.

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    About 80 percent of India's citizens have no health insurance cover as a result and our country's health spend is just around 4 percent of GDP, Reported by Firstpost 12 hours ago.

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    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The CEO of Connecticut’s health insurance marketplace is stepping down this spring. Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman says Jim Wadleigh (Wahd-LEE’) will leave as head of Access Health CT in April. Wyman chairs Access Health CT’s board of directors. Wadleigh has led the exchange for more than three years. He previously […] Reported by Seattle Times 7 hours ago.

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    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada health officials say the state will save money when it ditches the federally run HealthCare.gov enrollment system in 2019 for a state-based website. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Nevada Health Link received approval Thursday to use $1 million from a reserve account of the Nevada’s Silver State Health Insurance Exchange […] Reported by Seattle Times 4 hours ago.

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    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The family of a slain Colorado sheriff’s deputy will continue receiving health insurance for up to a year at no cost after county officials extended the benefits. The Gazette reports the family of El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy Micah Flick would have lost coverage at the end of the month, […] Reported by Seattle Times 3 hours ago.

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    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — School teachers and public employees in West Virginia are planning a statewide walkout as they continue to protest low pay, projected hikes in health insurance costs and small proposed pay hikes. Media outlets report that the decision to hold the walkout this Thursday and Friday was announced by the American Federal […] Reported by Seattle Times 2 hours ago.

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    The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has awarded $54 million to Oregon, one of the first three states to receive federal support for a program to stabilize the individual insurance market. The Legislature created the Oregon Reinsurance Program during the last session to spread the risk of high-cost claims among all insurance companies. The other two states receiving grants are Alaska and Minnesota. Oregon's program will be managed by the Department of Consumer and Business Services. “This… Reported by bizjournals 4 days ago.

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    THE INSURANCE AND THE IoT REPORT: How insurers are using connected devices to cut costs and more accurately price policies This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

    Insurance companies have long based their pricing models and strategies on assumptions about the demographics of their customers. Auto insurers, for example, have traditionally charged higher premiums for parents of teenage drivers based on the assumption that members of this demographic are more likely to get into an accident.

    But those assumptions are inherently flawed, since they often aren't based on the actual behaviors and characteristics of individual customers. As new IoT technologies increasingly move into the mainstream, insurers are able to collect and analyze data to more accurately price premiums, helping them to protect the assets they insure and enabling more efficient assessment of damages to conserve resources.

    A new report from BI Intelligence explains how companies in the auto, health, and home insurance markets are using the data produced by IoT solutions to augment their existing policy pricing models and grow their customer bases. In addition, it examines areas where IoT devices have the potential to open up new insurance segments.

     Here are some of the key takeaways:

    · The world's largest auto insurers now offer usage-based policies, which price premiums based on vehicle usage data collected directly from the car.
    · Large home and commercial property insurers are using drones to inspect damaged properties, which can improve workflow efficiency and reduce their reliance on human labor.
    · Health and life insurance firms are offering customers fitness trackers to encourage healthy behavior, and discounts for meeting certain goals.
    · Home insurers are offering discounts on smart home devices to current customers, and in some cases, free devices to entice new customers.

    In full, the report:

    · Forecasts the number of Americans who will have tried usage-based auto insurance by 2021.
    · Explains why narrowly tailored wearables could be what's next for the health insurance industry.
    · Analyzes the market for potential future insurance products on IoT devices.
    · Discusses and analyzes the barriers to consumers opting in to policies that collect their data.

    To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the IoT, choose one of these options:

    1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> *START A MEMBERSHIP*
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    Join the conversation about this story » Reported by Business Insider 4 days ago.

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    Health insurance expert Anil Rego in an online chat with readers answers health insurance queries. Reported by Rediff.com 2 hours ago.

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    Nearly 9 million dogs and 4.5 million cats in the U.S. have health insurance. Reported by NJ.com 18 hours ago.

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    A hot startup could be the perfect model for the JPMorgan-Amazon-Berkshire Hathaway healthcare initiative· *The news that JPMorgan, Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway are forming a new independent nonprofit venture aimed at lowering healthcare costs for their employees has people looking at employer-sponsored health plans in a new light.*
    · *The details of the new venture have been limited, which has left a lot of room for speculation about how it could play out.*
    · *One way would be for the companies, which already act as their own insurance companies, to form their own sorts of plans that fit their employees — from warehouse workers to Wall Street bankers. *
    · *An example of a new health insurer working with employers in this ways is called Collective Health. *

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    A new nonprofit healthcare venture from business giants Amazon, JPMorgan, and Berkshire Hathaway has generated a lot of interest in a certain type of health plan: the self-insured employer health plan. 

    If you're an employee with a self-insured employer, it means that when you're an employee going to a doctor's appointment, your employer is ultimately footing the bill for the MRI you receive, rather than a health insurer.

    The insurance companies are there in the middle to handle the logistics of getting the claim from one place to another, which means you might not realize your employer's footing the entire bill on the other end. Employers pay insurance companies for their services on a per member, per month basis. More than half of the non-elderly population is covered by an employer-sponsored plan, and almost 80% of large companies are self-insured. 

    "I tell people, JPMorgan Chase already buys a $1.5 billion of medical, and we self-insure," JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon told Business Insider. It's why his company, along with Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway, two other massive self-insured employers, are looking for new options. "Think of this, we're already the insurance company, we're already making these decisions, and we simply want do a better job," Dimon said. 

    There are a few ways that could play out.

    The three companies could simply use the lives they cover to negotiate for better prices. Or, they could go in and create their own alternative health plan built around their priorities, like giving them more information via their phones or introducing more integrated wellness programs. 

    The wheels on this are already turning. For example, Collective Health, a startup that's raised $119 million from investors including Peter Thiel's Founders Fund and GV since getting its start in 2013, works with employers to build out plans that fit their needs, adding technology with the hope of making things like submitting claims and reading bills easier than it tends to be. 

    *A case study: Collective Health*

    Chief Health Officer Dr. Rajaie Batniji cofounded Collective Health with CEO Ali Diab, who was working in technology, including working on the search team at Yahoo. At the same time, Batniji was going the academic route, getting a PhD in healthcare financing.

    "I was taking the academic route thinking I'd make the system better by writing papers about it," Batniji said.  

    Like many startups with tech founders, the idea started out with a bad experience with the existing healthcare system. Diab was hospitalized in 2013 with an intestinal condition. While recovering, he kept getting bills that weren't exactly bills, and confusing statements about what was covered and wasn't. 

    They wanted to answer the question: "Can we provide a better user experience layer?" As they started to look into it, they realized they couldn't just add something on top: They'd have to go in and act as the plan. "You have to recreate the whole stack," Batniji said. 

    To start, they decided to tackle the employer-sponsored health plans. The employers already act like "mini health insurance companies," which means they can often move faster to adopt new technology than other plans can, Batniji said. 

    Collective Health's clients include tech companies Zendesk, Palantir, eBay, and Pinterest. In total, it covers about 125,000 members, consisting of employees and their dependents. 

    Batniji said there'd be some worries that because employees would regularly be able to access their health information, they might start to over-use it. So far, that hasn't been the case. Batniji said Collective Health has seen fewer ER visits, unnecessary imaging has gone done, and there's been an increase in behavioral health visits. 

    Collective Health also helps connect services companies might want to provide for their employees, integrating them into the plan. For example, an employer would like to cover therapy appointments for all employees, even if the therapist is out of network. If one company handles fertility benefits really well, that can be plugged in as well. Collective Health acts like a landing page, so that you have everything in one place from being able to search for doctors and facilities that are in network to what kind of breast pump is covered by your plan. 

    Batniji has one piece of advice to share with the teams at Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan as they try to lower costs and improve healthcare for their employees: "I think it's important for them to prioritize just like we did where you build and where you partner," he said.

    For Collective Health, that meant building out a system that lets them to connect to any medical network, but deciding to partner on determining the networks of doctors their plans include.

    *SEE ALSO: We asked Jamie Dimon why JPMorgan is forming a new healthcare company with Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway — here's what he said*

    *DON'T MISS: A bunch of people are betting that a 70-year-old health system could hold the key to fixing out-of-control healthcare costs*

    Join the conversation about this story »

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