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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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    The major drivers of high healthcare costs in the U.S. appear to be higher prices for nearly everything–from physician and hospital services to diagnostic tests to pharmaceuticals–and administrative complexity.

    The new findings, from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Harvard Global Health Institute, and the London School of Economics, suggest that common explanations as to why healthcare costs are so high–such as the notions that the U.S. has too many doctor visits, hospitalizations, procedures, and specialists, and spends too little on social services that could mitigate healthcare needs–may be wrong.

    The study is published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association).

    “We know that the U.S. is an outlier in healthcare costs, spending twice as much as peer nations to deliver care. This gap and the challenges it poses for American consumers, policymakers, and business leaders was a major impetus for healthcare reform in the U.S., including delivery reforms implemented as part of the Affordable Care Act,” said senior author Ashish Jha, K.T. Li Professor of Global Health at Harvard Chan School and Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI). “In addition, the reasons for these substantially higher costs have been misunderstood: These data suggest that many of the policy efforts in the U.S. have not been truly evidence-based.”

    Using international data primarily from 2013-16, the researchers compared the U.S. with 10 other high-income countries–the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, Japan, Sweden, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Switzerland–on approximately 100 metrics that underpin healthcare spending.

    The study confirmed that the U.S. has substantially higher spending, worse population health outcomes, and worse access to care than other wealthy countries. For example, in 2016, the U.S. spent 17.8% of its gross domestic product on healthcare, while other countries ranged from 9.6% (Australia) to 12.4% (Switzerland). Life expectancy in the U.S. was the lowest of all 11 countries in the study, at 78.8 years; the range for other countries was 80.7-83.9 years. The proportion of the U.S. population with health insurance was 90%, lower than all the other countries, which ranged from 99%-100% coverage.

    But commonly held beliefs for these differences appear at odds with the evidence, the study found. Key findings included:

    · *Belief:* The U.S. uses more healthcare services than peer countries, thus leading to higher costs.
    *Evidence:* The U.S. has lower rates of physician visits and days spent in the hospital than other nations.
    · *Belief:* The U.S. has too many specialists and not enough primary care physicians.
    *Evidence:* The primary care versus specialist mix in the U.S. is roughly the same as that of the average of other countries.
    · *Belief:* The U.S. provides too much inpatient hospital care.
    *Evidence:* Only 19% of total healthcare spending in the U.S. is spent on inpatient services–among the lowest proportion of similar countries.
    · *Belief:* The U.S. spends too little on social services and this may contribute to higher healthcare costs among certain populations.
    *Evidence:* The U.S. does spend a bit less on social services than other countries but is not an outlier.
    · *Belief:* The quality of healthcare is much lower in the U.S. than in other countries.
    *Evidence:* Overall, quality of care in the U.S. isn’t markedly different from that of other countries, and in fact excels in many areas. For example, the U.S. appears to have the best outcomes for those who have heart attacks or strokes, but is below average for avoidable hospitalizations for patients with diabetes and asthma.

    What does explain higher spending in the U.S. is administrative complexity and high prices across a wide range of healthcare services. For example, the findings showed that:

    · Administrative costs of care–activities related to planning, regulating, and managing health systems and services–accounted for 8% of total healthcare costs, compared with a range of 1%-3% for other countries.
    · Per capita spending for pharmaceuticals was $1,443 in the U.S., compared with a range of $466 to $939 in other nations. For several commonly used brand-name pharmaceuticals, the U.S. had substantially higher prices than other countries, often double the next highest price.
    · The average salary for a general practice physician in the U.S. was $218,173, while in other countries the salary range was $86,607-$154,126.

    “As the U.S. continues to struggle with high healthcare spending, it is critical that we make progress on curtailing these costs. International comparisons are very valuable–they allow for reflection on national performance and serve to promote accountability,” said first author Irene Papanicolas, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Harvard Chan School.

    Liana Woskie, assistant director of the Harvard Global Health Institute’s strategic initiative on quality, was a co-author of the study. Reported by Eurasia Review 11 hours ago.

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    eHealth Releases Its Top Health Insurance Tax Tips for the 2017 Tax Year MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--eHealth releases its top health insurance tax tips for the 2017 tax year. Reported by Business Wire 51 minutes ago.

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    Chipotle's chief marketing officer, who was once arrested on cocaine charges, has suddenly resigned (CMG)· *Chipotle's chief marketing officer, Mark Crumpacker, resigned from his position on Tuesday.*
    · *"Crumpacker is being terminated without cause," the company said in a regulatory filing.*
    · *Crumpacker was set to receive a $600,000 retention bonus if he stayed at the company until January 5, 2019. *

    --------------------Chipotle's chief marketing officer, Mark Crumpacker, resigned from his position on Tuesday, the company said in a regulatory filing. 

    His resignation will take effect on Thursday. Chipotle did not give a reason for the departure. 

    "Mark Crumpacker has resigned his position as chief marketing and strategy officer effective March 15," Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told Business Insider. "Mark has been a valued member of our leadership team and played an integral role in shaping and defining the Chipotle brand, and we thank him for his contributions. We have a very talented marketing team in place and we’ll continue our existing programs while we finalize the plans for a new CMO."

    Crumpacker had previously taken a three-month leave of absence in 2016 after being arrested on charges of cocaine possession.

    Crumpacker was set to receive a $600,000 retention bonus if he stayed at the company until January 5, 2019. 

    "Such retention bonus would vest if Crumpacker was terminated without cause," the company said in the filing.  "Crumpacker is being terminated without cause."

    Here's what Chipotle said in the filing about Crumpacker's resignation:

    "The agreement entitles Mr. Crumpacker to cash severance totaling 26 weeks of pay at his base salary, and related benefits pertaining to post-employment extension of health insurance benefits, and also allows him a period of 12 months to exercise vested stock-only stock appreciation rights, rather than the 90-day period provided in the award agreements. The agreement further provides that Mr. Crumpacker releases any legal claims against Chipotle, will not disparage Chipotle or interfere with its relationships with customers, suppliers, shareholders or the public, and agrees to hold certain information about Chipotle confidential, subject to exceptions to ensure compliance with applicable law. The agreement also provides that for a one-year period following his resignation, Mr. Crumpacker will not (i) directly or indirectly, own, manage, operate, control, be employed, or engaged in any capacity (whether or not for compensation) by, or render services, advice, or assistance in any capacity to, a business operating fast-casual, quick-service or casual dining restaurants in the continental United States where Chipotle or any of its affiliates conduct business, or (ii) solicit or hire Chipotle’s employees, or induce any of Chipotle’s suppliers, licensees, or other business relations to cease doing business with Chipotle or interfere with the relationship between any such supplier, licensee, or other business relation and Chipotle. The agreement is subject to a customary revocation period by Mr. Crumpacker. Other previously-disclosed agreements entered into with Mr. Crumpacker and providing for post-employment payments or other benefits remain in effect as well."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The rise and fall of Hooters Air — the airline that lost the 'breastaurant' $40 million Reported by Business Insider 22 hours ago.

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    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The head of Minnesota’s health insurance exchange is stepping down. Allison O’Toole announced Wednesday that she will leave MNsure next month. O’Toole served as chief executive for nearly three years, overseeing record signups in individual health care plans even as premiums were rising sharply. Her departure comes at a tumultuous […] Reported by Seattle Times 20 hours ago.

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    Fitch has projected Indias economic growth to rise to 7.3 per cent next fiscal and further to 7.5 per cent in 2019-20.

    In its Global Economic Outlook report, the US-based agency forecast Indian economy to clock a growth rate of 6.5 per cent this fiscal, a tad lower than official estimates by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of 6.6 per cent. The economy grew 7.1 per cent in 2016-17.

    According to Fitch, the pick up in growth is likely as "the influence of one-off policy-related factor which was dragging growth has now waned."

    It said the money supply recovered to its pre-demonetisation level in mid-2017 and is now increasing steadily, similar to the previous trend.

    Also, disruptions related to the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) in July 2017 have gradually diminished.

    Showing signs of recovery, the Indian economy hit a five-quarter high of 7.2 per cent in the October-December period on a good show in key sectors like agriculture, construction and manufacturing.

    Fitch said the Budget for 2018-19 fiscal, beginning April, envisages a slower pace of fiscal consolidation and, therefore, should support the near-term growth outlook.

    It contains measures that will benefit low-income earners (such as a minimum price support and free health insurance) and support rural demand. The government also plans to ramp up infrastructure outlays, in particular by state-owned enterprises, the agency said.

    "Those policies come on top of substantial road construction plans and a bank recapitalisation plan announced late last year, which should also provide some support to growth in the medium term," Fitch said.

    On inflation, Fitch said, accelerating food prices were the main cause of the pick-up in headline inflation. By contrast, fuel price increases have been contained by the governments decision to roll back excise duties to keep pump prices stable in the face of rising oil prices.

    "We expect inflation to hover a bit below 5 per cent in 2018 and 2019, in the upper band of the Reserve Banks target," it said.

    Fitch said it expects the Reserve Bank of India to start raising interest rates next year as growth gains further traction, while inflationary pressures should remain quite high.

    The minimum support price scheme for agricultural products and increased customs duties on certain products (such as electronics, textiles and auto parts) will boost prices against a backdrop of accelerating growth. Reported by Deccan Herald 9 hours ago.

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    [India], Mar 15 (ANI): Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co. Limited. (ABHICL), the Health Insurance arm of Aditya Birla Capital Limited, a significant non-bank financial services company, presents Reported by Sify 50 minutes ago.

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    An increasing number of Philadelphia-area businesses with 50 and fewer employees are switching to a relative new version of self-insurance that helps them save money by escaping some of the rules of the Affordable Care Act that are designed to make the small-group insurance market better for the broader public but have led to astronomical increases for many individual companies. Reported by philly.com 5 hours ago.

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    Small group benefits technology vendor announces the next generation of their industry-leading Medical Health Questionnaire for medically underwritten plans.

    CLEVELAND (PRWEB) March 15, 2018

    FormFire, LLC announces MHQ/2™, their newest Medical Health Questionnaire for medically underwritten plans. With this release, FormFire streamlines their industry-leading medical data collection process and decreases the amount of time required for employees to provide their medical history.

    MHQ/2™ will make it easier for small-group health insurance brokers to obtain plan quotes from among hundreds of carriers in the FormFire system. Since this data is delivered digitally to carriers, requests for quotes can be processed more efficiently.

    Mike Epp, FormFire CEO says, “With the release of MHQ/2™, we are continuing our mission to take all of the drudgery out of what has traditionally been a very cumbersome and time-consuming process. FormFire has been the leader in this sector for many years, and with this release, we have continued that tradition.”

    Before FormFire revolutionized the industry in 2006, this was all done via paper applications requiring hours of work from both employees and their brokers.

    About FormFire, LLC

    FormFire, LLC, based in Cleveland, Ohio, is a market-leading technology provider supporting the group benefits industry. Its Quote, Sell, Enroll™ technology platform enables insurance brokers and carriers to easily and securely gather employee and group data for benefits pricing, plan selection and enrollment. More information about FormFire, LLC is available at http://www.formfire.com. Reported by PRWeb 26 minutes ago.

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    URBANA, Ill. (AP) — University of Illinois trustees have voted to increase student health insurance premiums for the 2018-2019 academic year. The Thursday approval means premiums will go up about 15 percent for Urbana-Champaign campus students based on more claims over the last year. Undergraduate students on that campus will now pay $455 per semester […] Reported by Seattle Times 18 hours ago.

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    BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Lt. Gov. Brad Little says he has a better understanding of the federal government’s position after being told the state’s move to let companies offer health insurance plans that don’t meet Affordable Care Act standards is illegal. Little announced Thursday he recently met with White House advisors and the Centers for […] Reported by Seattle Times 15 hours ago.

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    *Premium income of €13.8 billion, up 2.9%*

                -  Growth in property and casualty insurance as well as life and health insurance

                - Continued growth in France (+2.6%) and return to strong organic growth in foreign markets (+4.1%)

    *Economic operating income of €349 million, up €156 million*

                - An improvement in the non-life combined ratio of 98.9%, despite a high weather-related loss experience

                - Active transformation of the life insurance portfolio with a share of unit-linked outstandings in individual savings of 25.8%

                - Improvement in economic operating income in France and internationally

    *Net income of €292 million*

                - Net income affected by exceptional charges of €187 million due to regulatory changes in France (tax surcharges and statutory enhancements)

                - Strong increase in the international subsidiaries' contribution to net income (+35%)

    *Solvency ratio of 315%, up +26 points since 31 December 2016*

                - Solvency ratio of 174% without transitional measure on technical reserves

                - Shareholders' equity of €8.9 billion

                - Mutual certificates outstandings of €436 million at 31 December 2017, including €246 million collected in 2017

     "Groupama had a satisfactory 2017 in terms of both development and profitability. As the company continues its internal work to remutualise its governing body, which is planned for the end of the first half of 2018, Groupama has continuously shown its capacity to develop and support innovative and transformational projects that serve all its members and customers, particularly alongside farmers." stated Jean-Yves Dagès, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Groupama SA. 

    "The Group saw profitable growth momentum in its property and casualty insurance as well as in its life and health insurance, and recorded a major increase in its operating income as well as its solvency. It is therefore with a solid foundation that Groupama SA will soon become Groupama Assurances Mutuelles, the Group's new national mutual." added Thierry Martel, Chief Executive Officer of Groupama SA.

     

    Paris, 16 March 2018 - The board of directors of Groupama S.A. met on 15 March 2018, under the chairmanship of Jean-Yves Dagès, and approved the Group's combined financial statements and the consolidated financial statements of Groupama SA for fiscal year 2017.  

    The Group's combined financial statements include all business of the Group as a whole (i.e. the activity of the regional mutuals and of the subsidiaries consolidated within Groupama SA). The consolidated financial statements of Groupama SA include the business of all subsidiaries as well as internal reinsurance (approximately 35% of the premium income of the regional mutuals ceded to Groupama SA). 

    The analysis below focuses on the combined scope. The key figures of the consolidated scope are presented in the notes.* * 

    · *Increased activity in all business lines* 

    At 31 December 2017, Groupama's combined premium income stood at €13.8 billion, +2.9% increase from 31 December 2016.  

    Activity is up in both property and casualty insurance (+2.9%), in which the Group achieved premium income of €7.3 billion at 31 December 2017, and life and health insurance (+2.9%), for which premium income stood at €6.4 billion.  

    Groupama's combined premium income at 31 December 2017  

    in millions of euros 31/12/2017 Like-for-like change (%)
    Property and casualty insurance 7,288 +2.9%
    Life and health insurance 6,384 +2.9%
    Financial businesses 147 +10.8 %
    *GROUP TOTAL* *13,819* *+2.9%*

      *In France* 

    Insurance premium income in France at 31 December 2017 amounted to €11.1 billion, up +2.6% compared with 31 December 2016. 

    In property and casualty insurance, premium income totalled €5,523 million at 31 December 2017, up 2.5%. Insurance for individuals and professionals increased 2.1% over the period to €3,284 million, driven by the growth of home insurance (+2.2% to €1,048 million), professional risks (+2.6% to €447 million) and motor insurance (+1.8% to €1,536 million). The Group is pursuing its commercial growth in its main markets and recorded in its motor portfolio (+26,500 policies) and home portfolio (+16,000 policies). The growth in agricultural business (+0.7%), in legal protection business (+7.8%) and in assistance activity (+19.1%) also contributed to the increase in property and casualty insurance income.

    In life and health insurance, premium income amounted to €5,543 million, up 2.7% compared with 31 December 2016. This increase is mainly due to the growth in group insurance (+6.2%), supported by the development of retirement insurance (+20.1%) and health insurance (+2.9%). Individual retirement savings premium income rose 2.6%, driven by the growth in unit-linked policies (+10.1%), in a market down by 2% (source: FFA). Unit-linked oustandings represented 25.8% of individual savings at 31 December 2017 versus 23.5% at 31 December 2016. 

    · *International* 

    The Group is present in 10 countries around the world, mainly in Europe. It has growth opportunities in China, a country in which it ranks second among foreign damage insurers with €280 million in premium income^[1]. There is a strong international organic growth in 2017 (+4.1%), with premium income of €2.6 billion at 31 December 2017. 

    Property and casualty insurance premium income totalled €1,765 million, a 4.0% increase compared with the previous period. This change reflects the strong growth in the agricultural business (+15.5%), particularly in Turkey, and the good performance of home insurance (+4.6%) and motor insurance (+2.9%), with an increase of 110,000 motor policies over the year, mainly in Italy and Hungary. 

    In life and health insurance, premium income increased by 4.1% to €840 million, driven in particular by health insurance (+6.8%) and protection insurance (+8.7%). In individual retirement savings, premium income increased by 3.2%, driven by the strong growth in unit-linked policies (+24.8%), particularly in Hungary and Italy.

     Premium income of  foreign subsidiaries fully integrated in 2017

    in millions of euros 31/12/2017 Like-for-like change (%)
    Italy 1,506 +3.4%
    CEEC (Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria) 567 +6.2%
    Other countries* 532 +3.7%
    *International insurance* *2,605* *+4.1%** Turkey, Greece, Gan Outre-Mer 

    · *Financial businesses* 

    The Group's premium income was up by 10.8% to €147 million, including €141 million from Groupama Asset Management and €6 million from Groupama Epargne Salariale.

    Groupama Asset Management's outstandings totalled €99.8 billion at 31 December 2017, up €3 billion compared with 31 December 2016. The growth was driven by the development of external customers, and especially international customers.

    · *Strong growth in operating income to €349 million*

    The Group's economic operating income increased to €349 million at 31 December 2017, up 80% compared with 31 December 2016. 

    Economic operating income from insurance totalled €364 million at 31 December 2017, significantly up over the period (+€141 million) in all business segments both in France (+€107 million) and internationally (+€34 million).

    In property and casualty insurance, economic operating income amounted to €102 million at 31 December 2017, up sharply (+€76 million) compared with 2016. The net combined non-life ratio improved by 1.4 point, to 98.9% at 31 December 2017. That change is explained by a reduction in large claims in France and internationally, the stability of the attritional loss experience and a high level of weather-related claims, whose effects were nevertheless offset by the effectiveness of the Group's reassurance protections. The Group provided assistance to its policyholders after cyclones Irma and Maria in the French West Indies, whose gross impact on the accounts was €330 million and €38 million after reinsurance.

    In life and health insurance, economic operating income amounted to €262 million at 31 December 2017, up €64 million compared with 31 December 2016. That increase resulted from an improved underwriting margin in the life insurance business and the recurring financial margin.

    The transition from economic operating income to net income incorporates non-recurring items, particularly exceptional charges of €187 million linked to regulatory changes in France (tax surcharge, scheduled decrease of the tax rate and statutory surcharges^[2]) as well as impairment of goodwill in Turkey. 

    The Group's overall net income totalled €292 million at 31 December 2017 compared with €322 million at 31 December 2016. 

    · *A solid balance sheet* 

    The Group's shareholders' equity totalled €8.9 billion at 31 December 2017, up by €160 million compared with 31 December 2016, mainly due to the contribution of net income and the issue of mutual insurance certificates, partially offset by the repayment of the deeply subordinated instruments issued in 2007. 

    At 31 December 2017, total subordinated debt recognised in shareholders' equity and not recognised in shareholders' equity remained stable at €2.2 billion. The Group has issued new subordinated notes, with a maturity of 10 years, following the exchange offer relating to all deeply subordinated notes issued in 2007 and part of the redeemable subordinated notes issued in 2009.  

    Insurance investments totalled €87.2 billion at 31 December 2017, compared with €86.2 billion at 31 December 2016. Unrealised capital gains reached €10.4 billion at 31 December 2017, including €6.9 billion from the bond portfolio, €1.0 billion from the equity portfolio, and €2.5 billion from real estate assets. 

    The strength of the Group was confirmed by Fitch Rating. On 3 May 2017, the agency upgraded the insurer financial strength ratings of Groupama SA and its subsidiaries to 'A-' from 'BBB+'. The outlook associated with these ratings is Stable. 

    At 31 December 2017, the solvency 2 ratio was 315%, up +26 points from 31 December 2016. Groupama calculates its solvency ratio at the Group level, incorporating the transitional measure on technical reserves in accordance with the regulatory provisions. Without the transitional measure, the solvency ratio was 174%. 

     
    ^[1]On a basis of 100% of the premium income of Groupama Avic China, an equity-method entity in Groupama's combined financial statements

    ^[2]Impact of the state's withdrawal from the funding of legal increases in life annuities (law of 30 December 2017) for 133 million euros

     

     

    *Group Communications Department*

     

    *Press contact*: *Analyst and investor contacts:*
    Guillaume Fregni - + 33 (0)1 44 56 28 56

    guillaume.fregni@groupama.com Valérie Buffard - +33 (0)1 44 56 74 54

    valerie.buffard@groupama.com

     

    * * ** *

    Groupama financial information on the accounts closed at 31/12/2017 includes:

    · This press release, which is available on the groupama.com website,
    · Groupama's combined financial statements at 31/12/2017, which will be posted on the www.groupama.com website on 21 March 2018 for the French version and 23 April 2018 for the English version.
    · Groupama SA's registration document, which will be filed with the AMF on 26 April 2018 and posted on the groupama.com website on 27 April 2018.

    Get all the latest news about Groupama

    · on its website: www.groupama.com
    · and on Twitter: @GroupeGroupama

    *Appendix 1: key figures for Groupama - combined financial statements*

    · *Premium income *

      2016 2017 2017/2016
    * * Reported premium income Pro forma premium income* Reported premium income Change **
    € million as %
    *> FRANCE * *10,796* *10,788* *11,066* *+2.6%*
    Life and health insurance 5,400 5,400 5,543 +2.7%
    Property and casualty insurance 5,396 5,388 5,523 +2.5%
    *> INTERNATIONAL & Overseas* *2,647* *2,504* *2,605* *+4.1%*
    Life and health insurance 880 807 840 +4.1%
    Property and casualty insurance 1,767 1,697 1,765 +4.0%
    *TOTAL INSURANCE* *13,443* *13,292* *13,672* *+2.9%*
    *FINANCIAL BUSINESSES* 133 133 147 +10.8%
    *TOTAL* *13,576* *13,425* *13,819* *+2.9%*

     * Based on comparable data

    ** change on a like-for-like exchange rate and consolidation basis 

    · *Economic operating income*** *

    € million 2016 2017 2017/2016 change
    Insurance - France 173 280 +107
    Insurance - International 50 84 +34
    Financial businesses 27 32 +5
    Holding companies -56 -46 +10
    *Economic operating income* * *193* *349* *+156*

    * ****Economic operating income: equals net income adjusted for realised capital gains and losses, long-term impairment provision allocations and write-backs, and unrealised capital gains and losses on financial assets recognised at fair value (all such items are net of profit sharing and corporate income tax). Also adjusted are non-recurring items net of corporate income tax, impairment of value of business in force, impairment of goodwill (net of corporate income tax), and external financing expenses.  

    · *Net income*

      2016 2017 2017/2016 change
    € million
    *Economic operating income** *193* *349* *+156*
    Net realised capital gains 234 208 -26
    Net income from discontinued business activities 66 136 +70
    Long term impairment losses on financial instruments -15 -7 +8
    Gains and losses on financial assets and derivatives recognised at fair value -4 40 +44
    Financing expenses -40 -57 -17
    Goodwill impairment -88 -58 +30
    Amortisation of intangible assets and other transactions -23 -318 -295
    *Net income* *322* *292* *-30*

    *Contribution of businesses to combined net income* 

    € million 2016 2017
    Insurance and services - France 374 163
    Insurance - international subsidiaries 67 91
    Financial and banking businesses -3
    Groupama SA, holdings and other -119 41
    *Net income* *322* *292*

      

    · *Balance sheet** *

    € million 2016 2017
    Shareholders' equity, Group share 8,752 8,912
    Subordinated debts 2,263 2,235
    - classified in shareholder's equity 1,513 1,099
    - classified in 'Financing debt' 750 1,136
    Gross unrealised capital gains 10,955 10,394
    Total balance sheet 98,085 98,957

      

    · *Main ratios** *

    * * 2016 2017
    Non-life net combined ratio 100.3% 98.9%
    Debt-to-equity ratio* 27.5% 25.9%
    Solvency ratio** 289% 315%
    Solvency ratio without transitional measure 149% 174%

     * ratio calculated using the method applied by our rating agency

    ** incorporating the transitional measure on technical reserves in accordance with the regulatory provisions

                                                     

    *Appendix 2: key figures for Groupama SA - consolidated financial statements*

      

    *A/ Premium income*

      2016 2017 2017/2016
    * * Reported premium income Pro forma premium income* Reported premium income Change **
    € million as %
    *> FRANCE * *7,356* *7,349* *7,548* *+2.7%*
    Life and health insurance 4,090 4,090 4,200 +2.7%
    Property and casualty insurance 3,267 3,259 3,349 +2.8%
    *> INTERNATIONAL & Overseas* *2,647* *2,504* *2,605* *+4.1%*
    Life and health insurance 880 807 840 +4.1%
    Property and casualty insurance 1,767 1,697 1,765 +4.0%
    *TOTAL INSURANCE* *10,004* *9,852* *10,154* *+3.1%*
    *FINANCIAL BUSINESSES * 136 136 150 +10.7%
    *TOTAL* *10,140* *9,988* *10,304* *+3.2%*

     * Based on comparable data

    ** change on a like-for-like exchange rate and consolidation basis

      

    *B/ Economic operating income** 

    € million 2016 2017 2017/2016 change
    Insurance - France -13 125 +139
    Insurance - International 50 84 +34
    Financial and banking businesses 27 32 +5
    Holding companies -56 -45 +11
    *Economic operating income* * *8* *196* *+188*

    *** Economic operating income: equals net income adjusted for realised capital gains and losses, long-term impairment provision allocations and write-backs, and unrealised capital gains and losses on financial assets recognised at fair value (all such items are net of profit sharing and corporate income tax). Also adjusted are non-recurring items net of corporate income tax, impairment of value of business in force, impairment of goodwill (net of corporate income tax), and external financing expenses. 

    *C/ Net income*

    € million 2016 2017 2017/2016 change
     
    *Economic operating income** *8* *196* *+188*
    Net realised capital gains 179 135 -44
    Net income from discontinued business activities 66 136 +70
    Long term impairment losses on financial instruments -14 -8 +6
    Gains and losses on financial assets and derivatives recognised at fair value -7 29 +36
    Financing expenses -40 -57 -17
    Goodwill impairment -88 -58 +30
    Amortisation of intangible assets and other transactions -24 -286 -262
    *Net income* *79* *87* *+8*

    *Contribution of business activities to consolidated net income* 

    € million 2016 2017
    Insurance and services - France 130 -43
    International insurance 67 91
    Financial and banking businesses -3
    Groupama SA, holdings and other -118 42
    *Net income* *79* *87*

     

    *D/ Balance sheet** *

    € million 2016 2017
    Shareholders' equity, Group share* 5,613 5,257
    Subordinated debts 2,263 2,235
    - classified in shareholder's equity 1,513 1,099
    - classified in 'Financing debt' 750 1,136
    Gross unrealised capital gains 9,895 9,285
    Total balance sheet 90,484 90,645

     * including perpetual subordinated debt recognised as equity instruments

     

     

    Attachment:

    http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/eec4109d-a1a8-47f4-9414-32fc35b2fab7 Reported by GlobeNewswire 7 hours ago.

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    STAMFORD, Conn., March 16, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC) today reported 2017 fourth-quarter and annual results. 

    *Financial Results*

    Net income attributable to IHC per share increased to $1.16 per share, diluted, or $17,546,000, for the three months ended December 31, 2017 compared to $.49 per share, diluted, or $8,529,000, for the three months ended December 31, 2016. Net income attributable to IHC of $42,042,000, or $2.63 per share diluted, for the year ended December 31, 2017 decreased from $123,298,000, or $7.09 per share diluted, in the same period of 2016 primarily due to the gain of approximately $100 million on the sale of IHC Risk Solutions, LLC in 2016.

    The Company reported revenues of $82,665,000 for the three months ended December 31, 2017 compared to revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2016 of $78,871,000. The Company reported revenues of $320,494,000 for the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to revenues for the year ended December 31, 2016 of $311,004,000. Revenues increased primarily due to significant increases in specialty health premiums largely offset by a reduction in premiums from the exit of the Company’s stop-loss business. 

    On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”). The Company has completed its accounting for the impact of the Tax Act as of December 31, 2017 and recorded a deferred income tax expense of $9,402,000 due to the re-measurement of deferred tax assets, liabilities and related valuation allowance. Also, in the second quarter of 2017, the Company wound down the operations and dissolved a subsidiary recognizing an $11,589,000 income tax benefit on a worthless stock deduction of $33,110,000, representing the Company’s tax basis on its unrecovered investment in that subsidiary. In addition, the Company recorded a $20,261,000 credit to federal income taxes in 2017 as a result of the reduction in AMIC Holdings’ valuation allowance for increased income projections and associated utilization of federal net operating loss carryforwards. AMIC Holdings’ valuation allowance was due to the probability that AMIC Holdings might not be able to fully utilize its prior tax year federal net operating loss carryforwards. Income taxes for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2016 also include an income tax benefit of $3,903,000 on a worthless stock deduction of $11,150,000, representing the Company’s tax basis in its unrecovered investment in a subsidiary.

    *Chief Executive Officer’s Comments *

    Roy T. K. Thung, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are very pleased with our results for the fourth quarter and year ended 2017. After selling our stop-loss business in March 2016, we embarked on a plan to replace the earnings generated by that business primarily with higher-margin specialty health products that were less capital intensive. We are delighted to say that we have successfully executed on our plan, and have increased our earnings from continuing operations substantially in 2017. This is more than we earned prior to the sale of our stop-loss business and, in fact, it is our highest earnings from continuing operations ever. We achieved this result despite earning a modest yield of 3.2% on a short, high-quality portfolio.

    Mr. Thung further stated, “Our growth in earnings is primarily attributable to a substantial increase in sales and earnings from the specialty health segment. Much of our growth in premiums and earnings in 2017 was generated by IHC Specialty Benefits, our specialty health agency (“Specialty Benefits”), which more than doubled new sales in 2017 and is expected to significantly increase sales in 2018. Specialty Benefits is now a significant agency with premiums of almost $180 million, approximately 96% of which come from IHC products. In addition to our own distribution, several of the largest national health insurers and e-brokers are now distributing a significant amount of our products. We are recognized for our development of medical insurance packages that provide affordable coverage alternatives for consumers either who cannot afford Affordable Care Act (“ACA”)-compliant major medical health insurance coverages or who, because of increased subsidies, qualify for no-cost Bronze plans under the ACA, but need our supplemental products to cover their high deductibles. Specialty Benefits is very well positioned for continued significant growth in 2018 and 2019 as a result of (i) the expected increase in the duration of short-term medical plans (“STM”) once the Trump Administration’s proposed rule extending the duration of these products to 364 days, or longer, is finalized and (ii) the elimination of the individual mandate in 2019. The federal agencies that released the proposed rule indicated that they believe sales of STM will increase by 100,000 to 200,000 insureds in 2019. We will shortly bring to market a unique version of STM that offers a limited waiver of the pre-existing condition clause, which positions us as having the best value option for non-subsidy eligible consumers looking for non-ACA options. We also believe that extending the duration of STM will help sales of our bundled benefit packages, including IHC’s Fusion product, which combines STM and hospital indemnity to cover both first dollar hospital expenses and more catastrophic claims. We also expect growth in our pet sales in 2018 as we rollover the block from the PetPartners acquisition and from recently added new distribution sources.”

    Mr. Thung continued, “We have a very strong balance sheet, are very liquid, and have no debt. The sale and exit from the medical stop-loss segment generated not only a large gain on sale, but also significant liquidity and excess capital, which we have partially redeployed by repurchasing IHC stock. In 2017, we repurchased 2,289,502 shares at an average cost of $20.32 per share or $46.5 million, and have repurchased an additional 93,417 shares through March 8, 2018 at an average cost of $27.67 per share. We have paid off all of our debt, and continue to improve our infrastructure in anticipation of growth in the specialty health and the group disability and DBL segments. We have increased our dividend in each of the last four years, and currently intend to increase it again in 2018. The group disability and DBL lines of business perform consistently well year after year, and now we are poised for significant growth in DBL as a result of New York’s enactment of a paid family leave rider, which will more than double our DBL premiums. We also continue to explore ways to expand our excellent disability capabilities at Madison National Life, and we continue to invest in our infrastructure for all of our lines of business.”

    Mr. Thung concluded, “Our book value is $28.98 per share at December 31, 2017 compared to $25.53 per share at December 31, 2016, and $18.73 per share at December 31, 2015. Our overall investment portfolio continues to be very highly rated (on average, AA) and has an effective duration of approximately four years. Finally, we expect that the Tax Act will be very beneficial to our financial results. For all of these reasons, we are very optimistic for 2018 and beyond.”

    *About The IHC Group*

    Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC) is a holding company that is principally engaged in underwriting, administering and/or distributing group and individual specialty benefit products, including disability, supplemental health, pet, and group life insurance through its subsidiaries since 1980. The IHC Group owns three insurance companies (Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company), and IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc. (IHC SB), a technology-driven full-service marketing and distribution company that focuses on small employer and individual consumer products through general agents, telebrokerage, advisor centers, private label arrangements, and through the following brands: www.HealtheDeals.com; Health eDeals Advisors; Aspira A Mas; www.PetPartners.com; and www.PetPlace.com. IHC creates value for insurance producers, carriers and consumers (both individuals and small businesses) through a suite of proprietary tools and products, all of which are underwritten by IHC’s carriers or placed with highly rated insurance companies.

    *Forward-looking Statements*

    Certain statements and information contained in this release may be considered “forward-looking statements,” such as statements relating to management's views with respect to future events and financial performance. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical experience or from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, economic conditions in the markets in which IHC operates, new federal or state governmental regulation, IHC’s ability to effectively operate, integrate and leverage any past or future strategic acquisition, and other factors which can be found in IHC’s other news releases and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. IHC expressly disclaims any duty to update its forward-looking statements unless required by applicable law.

     
    *INDEPENDENCE HOLDING COMPANY*
     
    *CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME*
    *December 31, 2017*
    *(In Thousands, Except Per Share Data)*
     
    * *   * * *Three Months Ended*   * * *Year Ended*
    * *   * * *December 31,*   * * *December 31,*
    * *   * * *2017*
      * * *2016*
      * * *2017*
      * * *2016*

    *REVENUES:*   * * * *   * * * *   * * * *   * * * *
    Premiums earned   $ 71,759     $ 67,180     $ 282,266     $ 262,704  
    Net investment income     3,862       3,870       16,276       16,570  
    Fee income     5,209       3,905       16,765       16,446  
    Other income     283       3,359       2,648       12,257  
    Net realized investment gains     1,552       557       2,539       4,502  
    Net impairment losses recognized in earnings     -       -       -       (1,475 )
    * *                        
    * *     82,665       78,871       320,494       311,004  
    * *                        
    *EXPENSES:*                        
    Insurance benefits, claims and reserves     31,983       35,734       135,054       145,231  
    Selling, general and administrative expenses     41,700       34,227       157,104       132,174  
    Interest expense on debt     -       168       -       1,534  
                             
          73,683       70,129       292,158       278,939  
                             
    Income from continuing operations before income taxes     8,982       8,742       28,336       32,065  
    Income taxes (benefits)     (8,619 )     989       (13,794 )     9,555  
    * *                        
    *Income from continuing operations, net of tax*     17,601       7,753       42,130       22,510  
    * *                        
    *Discontinued operations*                        
    Income (loss) from discontinued operations, before income taxes
        -       (19 )     -       117,617  
    Income taxes (benefits) on discontinued operations
        -       (911 )     -       6,813  
    Income from discontinued operations, net of tax
        -       892       -       110,804  
    * *                        
    *Net income *     17,601       8,645       42,130       133,314  
    Less: (Income) from noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries     (55 )     (116 )     (88 )     (10,016 )
                             
    *NET INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE TO IHC*   $ 17,546     $ 8,529     $ 42,042     $ 123,298  
                             
    *Basic income per common share*                        
    Income from continuing operations
      $ 1.18     $ .45     $ 2.67     $ 1.28  
    Income from discontinued operations
        -       .05       -       5.90  
    Basic income per common share   $ 1.18     $ .50     $ 2.67     $ 7.18  
                             
    *WEIGHTED AVERAGE SHARES OUTSTANDING*     14,884       17,084       15,718       17,162  
                             
    *Diluted income per common share*                        
    Income from continuing operations
      $ 1.16     $ .44     $ 2.63     $ 1.27  
    Income from discontinued operations
        -       .05       -       5.82  
    Diluted income per common share   $ 1.16     $ .49     $ 2.63     $ 7.09  
                             
    *WEIGHTED AVERAGE DILUTED SHARES OUTSTANDING*     15,178        17,311       16,008       17,379  

    *As of March 9, 2018, there were 14,803,468 common shares outstanding, net of treasury shares.*

     
    *INDEPENDENCE HOLDING COMPANY*
     
    *CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS*
    *(In Thousands, Except Share Data)*
     
    * *     *December 31,*   * * *December 31,*
    * *     *2017*   * * *2016*
    * *     * *      
    *ASSETS:*            
    Investments:            
    Short-term investments   $ 50     $ 6,912  
    Securities purchased under agreements to resell     10,269       28,962  
    Trading securities     490       592  
    Fixed maturities, available-for-sale     441,912       449,487  
    Equity securities, available-for-sale     5,630       5,333  
    Other investments     18,547       23,534  
    Total investments     476,898       514,820  
                 
    Cash and cash equivalents     26,465       22,010  
    Due and unpaid premiums     21,950       42,896  
    Due from reinsurers     380,593       440,285  
    Premium and claim funds     11,108       17,952  
    Goodwill     50,697       41,573  
    Other assets     72,912       54,928  
                 
    *TOTAL ASSETS*   $ 1,040,623     $ 1,134,464  
                 
    *LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY:*            
    *LIABILITIES:*            
    Policy benefits and claims   $ 168,683     $ 219,113  
    Future policy benefits     214,766       219,450  
    Funds on deposit     143,537       145,749  
    Unearned premiums     6,666       9,786  
    Other policyholders' funds     10,402       9,769  
    Due to reinsurers     3,808       35,796  
    Accounts payable, accruals and other liabilities     56,453       55,477  
    Liabilities attributable to discontinued operations     -       68  
                 
    *TOTAL LIABILITIES*     604,315       695,208  
                 
                 
    Commitments and contingencies            
    Redeemable noncontrolling interest     2,065       -  
                 
    *STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY:*            
    Preferred stock (none issued)     -       -  
    Common stock     18,625       18,620  
    Paid-in capital     124,538       126,468  
    Accumulated other comprehensive loss     (4,598 )     (6,964 )
    Treasury stock, at cost     (63,404 )     (17,483 )
    Retained earnings     356,383       315,918  
                 
    *TOTAL IHC STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY*     431,544       436,559  
    *NONREDEEMABLE NONCONTROLLING INTERESTS*     2,699       2,697  
    * *            
    *TOTAL EQUITY*     434,243       439,256  
    * *            
    *TOTAL LIABILITIES AND EQUITY * * * $ 1,040,623     $ 1,134,464  
                     

    *CONTACT: Loan Nisser*
    *(646) 509-2107*
    *www.IHCGroup.com* Reported by GlobeNewswire 2 hours ago.

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    Reported by SeekingAlpha 2 hours ago.

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    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Measures to help rescue the Maryland Health Care Exchange’s distressed individual market are moving forward in the General Assembly. The Senate gave preliminary approval to two bills Friday. One would tap about $340 million that health insurance companies and managed care organizations won’t have to pay in taxes due to the […] Reported by Seattle Times 17 hours ago.

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    Private health insurance was a luxury many people decided to forego in the downturn, but according to the Health Insurance Authority, take-up is on the increase again. Reported by RTE.ie 7 hours ago.

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    Latest ez1095 ACA software now supports replacement for form 1095 at no additional cost. Test drive at no cost or obligation at http://www.halfpricesoft.com.

    RALEIGH, N.C. (PRWEB) March 17, 2018

    Those employers and tax professionals that are required to file 1095 forms for year 2017 should consider the updated 2017 ez1095 software from Halfpricesoft.com. ez1095 ACA software now supports replacement for form 1095 efiling.

    ez1095 software allows customers to import data quickly from external file and makes it easy to print ACA forms for recipients. Priced from just $195 per installation, ez1095 can support multiple company accounts on the same machine with no extra charge.

    “The updated version of ez1095 2017 software for printing ACA forms now easily processes replacement forms.” said Dr. Ge, the founder of Halfpricesoft.com.

    Customers that need to file Form 1095C, 1094C, 1095B and 1094B can download and try out this ACA software from Halfpricsoft.com before purchasing with no obligation by visiting http://www.halfpricesoft.com/aca-1095/form-1095-software-free-download.asp

    The main features include but are not limited to :· Print ACA Form 1095-C, 1094-C, 1095-B and 1094-B on white paper for recipients and IRS with inkjet or laser printer.
    · PDF print 1095-C and 1095-B recipient copies
    · Efile version available at additional cost.
    · Support unlimited companies.
    · Support unlimited number of recipients.
    · Print unlimited number of 1095 and 1094 forms.
    · Fast data import feature
    · 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

    ez1095 software is compatible Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP and other Windows systems. Designed with simplicity in mind, ez1095 software is easy to use and flexible. ez1095 software’s graphical interface leads customers step-by-step through setting up company, adding employees, add forms and print forms. Customers can also click form level help links to get more details regarding the software.

    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 5 hours ago.

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    After state Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) pulled the plug last year on a fast-moving but half-baked Senate bill to guarantee premium-free health insurance to all Californians, the nurses union that sponsored the legislation called it a “cowardly act” and threatened to push for a... Reported by L.A. Times 3 hours ago.

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    Federal Government Endangers Charitable Patient Assistance Programs, Putting Hundreds of Thousands of Medicare Beneficiaries at Risk

    PLANO, Texas (PRWEB) March 19, 2018

    Good Days, a national, independent 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that makes life-saving and life-extending treatments affordable, invites the public to co-sign an open letter urging the federal government to protect patient assistance on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Medicare patients who lack access to medication they desperately need but cannot afford.

    There is currently no policy to fix the holes in government-sponsored health insurance plans that patient assistance charities were established to address. But now government officials are endangering these programs, and, most importantly, the chronically ill patients who are unable to afford their life-sustaining medical treatment.

    Growing public criticism on the rising costs of drugs is being directly associated with patient assistance charities. This has had a significant impact on the ability of these charities to raise funds, thereby threatening patients and families in need. Patient assistance programs such as those provided by Good Days are the only available financial resource to economically vulnerable Medicare patients who face debilitating, life-altering and oftentimes life-threatening diseases.

    “The voices of those individuals who have been affected by patient assistance are needed to remind key officials in the federal government of the vital need for these charities,” said Clorinda Walley, president of Good Days. “We are a safety net for patients who otherwise have nowhere to turn. We strive to fill that role as transparently as we can, until the day a better solution is in place.”

    Pharmaceutical companies once assisted Medicare beneficiaries through their own patient assistance programs because Medicare did not broadly cover outpatient prescription drugs. The passage of Medicare Part D in 2003 established coverage for pharmaceutical costs and allowed for non-profit patient-advocacy groups to establish co-pay funds that could be funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Since many of the prescriptions to treat chronic conditions like cancer are expensive specialty medications with no generic equivalent, charitable patient assistance programs became the sole vehicle through which needy Medicare beneficiaries could receive co-pay assistance.

    Good Days programs operate at no cost to the tax-payer by government design. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued guidance to these charities so that they can operate according to best practices. This has led to the establishment of safeguards to prevent outside influence on patient and provider choices of treatments. Importantly, before a person receives charitable assistance, they have already met with a physician, been given a diagnosis, and prescribed a therapy plan. It is only after this point that a patient can seek to obtain charitable assistance.

    The federal government should continue to work with these charities and protect patient assistance. Visit https://www.change.org/p/protect-life-saving-charitable-patient-assistance to sign an open letter that urges the federal government to protect vulnerable patients.

    Good Days is a national, independent 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that makes life-saving and life-extending treatments affordable. Since 2003, Good Days has provided more than 800,000 grants and helped more than 500,000 people with access to healthcare resources. Reported by PRWeb 19 hours ago.

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    Democrats won't back latest health-insurance stabilization bill because it includes language restricting federal funding of abortions.

     
     
     
     
     
     
      Reported by USATODAY.com 17 hours ago.

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    WASHINGTON (AP) — The polarizing politics of abortion have burst into the congressional budget debate, overwhelming bipartisan efforts to help millions of consumers who buy their own health insurance policies get relief from soaring premiums. On Monday, Senate and House Republicans released their latest plan to stabilize the Affordable Care Act's insurance markets. It provides new federal money to offset the cost of treating the sickest patients and restores insurer subsidies that President Donald Trump terminated last year. That's clearly a big shift from last year, when repealing "Obamacare" was the GOP's demand. Reported by SeattlePI.com 19 hours ago.

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