Payer Roundup—Centene's acquisition of Fidelis clears major hurdle; D.C. insurers eye 15% ACA premium hikes

Centene purchase of Fidelis clears major hurdle

The New York attorney general has signed off on Centene's acquisition of Fidelis Care, bringing the $3.75 billion deal one step closer to completion.

"With this regulatory approval, we have a clear path to completing our transaction with Fidelis Care and expanding Centene's national leadership in government-sponsored healthcare," Michael F. Neidorff, chairman and CEO of Centene, said in a statement.

Once the deal is finalized, Centene will gain more than 1.6 million members. The company expects to close the transaction on or about July 1, 2018. (Statement)

Texas voters support Medicaid expansion

Texans want their state to expand Medicaid by a more than 2-to-1 margin, according to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Support was mostly along party lines, with 82% of Democrats supporting expansion compared to only 37% of Republicans. An overwhelming 71% of independent voters also agreed with expansion.

Additionally, nearly 1 in 5 Texans incorrectly believe the state has already expanded the program. (Kaiser Family Foundation)

D.C. marketplace insurers seek double-digit premium hikes for 2019

Insurers in Washington, D.C.'s individual marketplace are requesting a 15% premium hike for 2019.

Among insurers, CareFirst proposed an average increase of 9.5% for HMO plans and 16.7% for PPO plans, while Kaiser proposed an average increase of 20%. Additionally, small group rates increased by an average of 8.6%.

The rate filings are only proposals, and the final premiums could change.

"We are now undertaking a thorough analysis of the filed rates to determine whether they meet the District’s standard of not being excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory," Stephen C. Taylor, Washington's commissioner, said in a statement. (Statement)