Monthly Archives: October 2012

Federal Assistance, No ‘Hurricane Deductibles’ In Sandy’s Aftermath

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Hurricane Sandy didn’t serve up hurricane-force winds in Connecticut, despite the storm’s name, and that means that homeowners filing insurance claims won’t have to face much more expensive deductibles.

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Preparing Your Home, Personal Belongings Before Hurricane Sandy Hits

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Having an emergency kit ready, and making sure the family has a communication plan are two important preparations that people can do now before Hurricane Sandy hits, said an insurance risk professional with The Travelers Cos.

The federal government site Ready.gov has tips for creating an emergency kit, said Ken Katz, property risk control director with The Travelers Cos.

The Travelers Cos. also suggests items to have in a kit: canned food — 3 to 7 day supply; water — 3 to 7 day supply of 1 gallon per person per day; a can opener; first aid kit; portable radio; flashlight; batteries; medicine; clothing; blankets and your insurance policy.

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Hartford Hospital “Hopeful” In Negotiations With UnitedHealth Group As Sunday Deadline Nears

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Hartford Hospital is “hopeful” in its negotiations Friday with UnitedHealth Group. Thousands of patients face higher, out-of-network rates if the two parties don’t have a new contract by the time the current agreement expires at midnight Sunday.

The nation’s largest health insurer and the hospital have been in a bitter dispute over reimbursement rates the insurer will pay the hospital for medical services. On Friday, however, the talks may have taken a turn.

“We are talking and we are hopeful,” said Hartford Hospital spokeswoman Rebecca Stewart.

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Magellan Health Reports Third-Quarter Earnings Far Above Analysts’ Expectations

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Magellan Health Services Inc. saw its stock leap early Friday as third-quarter earnings beat analysts’ expectations.

Net income for the three-month period ending Sept. 30 was $66.3 million, or $2.36 per diluted share, compared with $31.4 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, during the same period in 2011.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting, on average, 97 cents per share.

“We are pleased with our recent contract award to administer the Military and Family Life Counseling (MFLC) program for the U.S. Department of Defense, which gives us a stronger foothold in the military and federal government space,” said Magellan chairman and CEO René Lerer.

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Medicaid Enrollment Soared In Connecticut, Spending Increased While Other Human-Service Programs Decreased

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Medicaid enrollment has soared in Connecticut, and the state is spending more to pay for the taxpayer-funded healthcare program while it has spent less for other human services, according to a new report by the Fiscal Policy Center at Connecticut Voices for Children.

Medicaid enrollment in Connecticut increased 80 percent from about 307,000 to 551,000 between 1997 and 2010, according to the report, which referred to Kaiser Family Foundation data accessed via the state Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

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Aetna Profits Beat Expectations On Higher Premiums, Lower Medical Costs

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Aetna beat analysts’ expectations with third-quarter earnings that benefited from higher premiums and lower medical costs.

“Our emerging businesses strategy continues to see positive results from collaboration with providers, including lower costs, higher care quality and added membership for our core businesses,” said Aetna CEO Mark T. Bertolini.

Net income was $499.2 million for the three-month period ending Sept. 30, or $1.47 per share, compare with $490.4, or $1.30 per share, during the same period a year ago. The net income includes a 7-cent-per-share loss to get rid of long-term debt and 4 cents per share on transaction costs related to acquiring Coventry Health Care Inc.

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More Conn. Residents On Public Health Plans, Driven Partly By Unemployment

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The number of people in Connecticut who had health insurance through a private insurer, such as employer-based coverage, shrank, while those in public health plans, such as Medicaid, rose, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data.

The data, released Thursday, show that in the most recent survey a large percentage of the state’s population was still covered by private health plans, such as those offered by employers — 74.4 percent compared with 66 percent nationally. The percentage of uninsured in the state was lower than the national average, too, at 8.9 percent compared with 15.2 percent across the U.S.

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Stamford-based Title Insurer Receives $19 Million Investment From PartnerRe

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A Stamford title-insurance company received a $19 million investment from a major reinsurer to increase the company’s surplus as it grows its direct-to-customer business.

Entitle Direct Group Inc., parent of EnTitle Insurance Co., received the investment from Bermuda-based Partner Reinsurance Co., or PartnerRe. Separately, EnTitle’s shareholders invested an additional $2 million in the company.

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