Payer Roundup—Uninsured rate remains at 9.1%; Anthem stays in Indianapolis

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Despite Trump's best efforts to undermine the ACA exchanges, the uninsured rate remained mostly unchanged in 2017—but that is likely to change. (

Uninsured rate remains constant during Trump's first year

Americans haven't abandoned their insurance in 2017 as some officials feared, despite President Trump's aggressive push to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the uninsured rate last year was 9.1%, or about 29 million people, nearly the same as it was in 2016 and 2015. 

However, many of the changes by the White House and Congressional Republicans to the landmark 2010 law don't go into effect until 2019, including repeal of the individual mandate and a planned extension of short-term health plans.

As a result, the impact of those provisions on the uninsured rate probably won't be seen until at least next year. (Report [PDF])

Seniors shell out more for generics despite stable prices

Medicare Part D beneficiaries are paying more for generics despite drug prices remaining stable.

Research published this week by Avalere Health found that the amount of drugs placed on the lowest cost tier has declined by 53 percentage points between 2011 and 2015, resulting in a 93% increase in patient cost sharing for such drugs.

The increase, however, did not correlate to a jump in the market price for the drugs.

“The use of generic drugs has saved the Medicare Part D program billions of dollars,” Dan Mendelson, president at Avalere, said in a statement. “However, higher-tier placement of generic drugs is leading to higher out-of-pocket costs for patients and may reduce savings.” (Report)

Anthem HQ to remain in Indianapolis

Anthem revealed Tuesday that it plans to remain in Indianapolis and will invest $20 million in updating its headquarters.

The announcement follows rumors the insurer was eyeing a move eastward to Atlanta.

“Indianapolis has been Anthem’s home since our company was founded nearly 75 years ago,” Gail K. Boudreaux, president and CEO of the company, said in the announcement. “We appreciate the support from the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana as we worked through the process to finalize our plans.”

Renovations on the updated headquarters are expected to be completed later this year and will house more than 2,600 employees. (Release)