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May 25, 2016 // News

break-newsAnthem & Cigna

In-fighting may delay the Anthem-Cigna merger as regulators continue to review the mergers for approval. In an April letter to the Anthem board, Cigna voiced concern that a pending Anthem lawsuit against a drug manufacturer could threaten regulatory approval of the merger. Anthem argued that Cigna was made aware of the suit early in merger discussions.  Anthem filed suit against prescription drug middleman, Express Scripts Holding Company, claiming Express Scripts is overcharging them for drugs.

Family of Four – The High Cost of Health Care

This just out! The annual cost of employer-sponsored healthcare for a family of four is $25,826, more than double the $12,214 annual cost in 2005. According to the Milliman Medical Index (MMI), the healthcare costs of PPO coverage for families have been on the rise since 2001. The index also reflected the fact that more of the burden for healthcare costs have steadily shifted from employer to employees.

New York, FL

Indicators point to higher Obamacare increases than in previous years

According to the New York Health Plan Association, health insurers in New York have proposed average rate hikes of over 17% for 2017. United Healthcare of New York has proposed a 45.6 % increase, while Excellus Health Plan is at 15.9%.

In Florida, the average requested rate increase is at 17.7%. Last year, the approved average was just under 10%.  For small group plans, the requested rate increase is 9.6%. To offset loses, Tennessee has requested rate increases of 36.6 % on average for 2017. In California, the requested rate increase is an average of 8%. So far, the highest rate increase comes from New Hampshire, where Minuteman Health has requested a rate increase of 45%.

Employee Behavior can Help Reduce Phishing Susceptibility

Phishing is a tactic used by hackers to entice people to open an illegal email or file that is masquerading as legitimate mail. If opened, the malware seeks to gather personal data, such as account numbers. Other illegal threats include the possibility that hackers could hold your system for ransom, delete your data, or insert malware that will infect or infiltrate the data of your contacts.

Employers who encourage employees to STOP & CONFIRM before opening new emails can dramatically reduce workplace phishing threats. Common phishing tactics used by hackers include subject lines that contain phrases such as “Unauthorized Activity”, “Unauthorized Access,” or “File from Scanner.”

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