Blue Cross wins La. Medicaid contract; Repealing reform would add $109B to deficit;

> Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana has won the contract to manage state employee health plans, beating out rivals Humana and UnitedHealth. Blue Cross, which could make almost $38 million with the deal, will begin administering the state employee insurance program Jan. 31, reported the Baton Rouge Advocate. Article

> Lawsuits continue to amend the reform law's contraception provision, which requires that most employers include birth control options in their health insurance plans without a copay, reported The Hill's Healthwatch. So far, 24 lawsuits have been filed, the latest of which involves Protestant Wheaton College claiming that the provision erodes religious liberty. Article

> UnitedHealthcare International is partnering with Australia's nib health funds to provide insurance to expatriate members in the country, according to UnitedHealth Group. "UnitedHealthcare International's clients are benefiting from our expanding global healthcare network, providing their employees with seamless access to high quality healthcare," said Simon Stevens, president of global health at UnitedHealth Group. "A growing number of our clients have operations in Australia, and they now will have access to top hospitals and care providers there." Statement

> A lawsuit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island is moving forward, allowing Landmark Medical Center to claim that the insurer set unfair reimbursement rates, Providence Business News reported. Article

> Repealing the reform law would add $109 billion to the national deficit in the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office's updated numbers released Tuesday. And if states decline to expand Medicaid, 3 million fewer people will gain coverage, reported FierceHealthFinance.

> And Finally… Watch out for the car when you're in the elevator. Article