Payer Roundup—House committee investigates short-term plans

Both the AH&LA and AAHOA released statements in support of the President’s call for bipartisan efforts to improve border security and ongoing job growth.
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce sends letter to 12 insurers for selling short-term policies. (Getty Images/Bill Chizek)

House Energy, Commerce Committee investigates short-term plans 

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce is investigating 12 companies that either sell or assisted in consumers signing up for junk insurance plans. Led by Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., D-N.J., the committee will look into concerning practices of short-term, limited duration insurance plans. 

The committee wants to ensure that insurance companies selling short-term plans do not discriminate against individuals with pre-existing conditions, which would put these consumers at financial risk. In addition, it wants to examine reports that consumers who sign up for these plans may be misled about their coverage. 

Letters were sent to the following insurers: Agile Health Insurance, Anthem, Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue Cross Idaho, Cambia Health Solutions, eHealth, Everest, Health Insurance Innovations, Healthcare Solutions Team, Independence Holding Company, National General Accident and Health, and UnitedHealth Group. (Announcement)

HCSC paid no taxes in 2018, but received $1.7B refund

Health Care Service Corp. did not pay any federal taxes in 2018, according to its financial report, and yet received a $1.7 billion tax refund.

With the refund, the company’s net profit came to $4.1 billion in 2018, up from $1.3 billion the year before. HCSC has experienced rising profits from its healthcare plans in the Affordable Care Act marketplace, according to the financial reports.

And the company said its rebate came from the repeal of the corporate alternative minimum tax in 2018, and as a result, was able to recover those credits. (The Hill)

Humana, Sunflower bring heathy food distribution to Kansas City

Humana, Harvesters—The Community Food Network and Sunflower Medical Group are collaborating to offer members of the community fresh, nutritious foods at Sunflower’s location in Kansas City, Kansas. One the fourth Saturday of each month, Patients of the Health System and others in need of food can visit Heartland Primary Care. 

The initiative will help fight food insecurity and does not require proof of residency or income. In Kansas City, nearly 14% of community face food insecurity, which contributes to poor health and higher medical costs. 

Humana’s goal is to create integrated health systems that can address social determinants of health, such as food insecurity and social isolation, and how they impact healthcare outside of the physician’s office. (Announcement)