August 18, 2016 |
Aetna Inc.'s decision to withdraw from Affordable Care Act exchanges in Pennsylvania and 10 other states means that Independence Blue Cross will be the only major firm offering individual plans for 2017 to Southeastern Pennsylvania residents. In its announcement Monday, Aetna, of Hartford, Conn., cited a second-quarter loss of $200 million on the exchange business because a large number of newly insured people needed high-cost care. Aetna serves about 31,000 Pennsylvanians through the marketplace, about 6 percent of the state's individual health insurance market, according to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.
July 3, 2016
A structured walking program that offered encouragement and support improved participants' mood and energy levels and even led to the shedding of a few pounds, a study by Independence Blue Cross found. The research, which was published June 27 in the American Journal of Health Promotion, involved about 460 randomly chosen employees. Half the participants worked for companies insured by IBC with managers who typically put up posters or offered other passive walking encouragement.
March 16, 2016 |
Independence Blue Cross said it is offering telemedicine services to certain employer groups through MDLIVE, a national company that connects patients with primary-care physicians by telephone, video or mobile app. MDLIVE physicians, who will be paid through a contract MDLIVE has with IBC, can make diagnoses and prescribe medicines. Separately, IBC members will be able to have a video chat with their local primary-care physician if their physician offers the services, the Philadelphia insurer said.
February 7, 2016 |
Independence Blue Cross' announcement that it will cover a complex type of genetic testing for some cancer patients thrusts the insurer into the debate about how to handle an increasing array of these expensive tests. The Philadelphia-based insurer - with 3 million members - became the largest to cover whole genome sequencing for select cancer patients. The analysis looks at the entire sequence of each tumor's DNA and identifies mutated genes. Physicians can request this for children with tumors, patients with rare cancers, and those with triple negative breast cancer or who have exhausted conventional therapies for metastatic cancer.
December 19, 2015 |
No matter who wins next year's presidential election, it's a sure bet that the new leader will want to tinker with the Affordable Care Act, says Independence Blue Cross CEO Daniel J. Hilferty. And when it happens, Hilferty wants to be at the table. "From a Blue insurers' perspective, we want it to work," said Hilferty, who, effective immediately, will become board chairman of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association of America. The job, while unpaid, comes with clout. The association provides health insurance to 105 million people, or a third of the nation, through 36 Blue Cross and Blue Shield member companies, including Independence, this region's largest insurer.
October 28, 2015 |
If they Dreamit, will the dollars follow? And our health improve? Several newly spawned Philadelphia-based start-ups with health applications made that pitch Monday at the third annual Dreamit Health Demo Day in Center City. Products ran the gamut from the Smart Mouthguard wearable from Gray Matter, which measures if athletes have suffered a concussion (50 percent now go undetected), to a tracking system for cancer patients, Oncora Medical, that calculates if doctors are overdoing it on the treatment.
September 26, 2015 |
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association on Thursday unveiled an expanded database that will help individual Blues, like Philadelphia's Independence, drill down into the cost of care for their corporate customers who have operations nationwide. "We as Blues are taking seriously the challenge of, while maintaining our individual nature, being seen as a national player," said Daniel J. Hilferty, chief executive of Independence Health Group, parent of Independence Blue Cross. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, whose members cover 105 million Americans, has maintained a claims database for a decade, and Independence has contributed for years.
September 4, 2015 |
The Independence Blue Cross Foundation will spend $1.5 million over the next three years to improve access to primary care at safety-net health centers in Southeastern Pennsylvania, the organization said Wednesday. The 42 non-profit, privately-funded health centers in the foundation's Blue Safety Net will be eligible for grants to expand access to care through telemedicine and to explore new care models, such as the including behavioral-health services in primary care, the foundation said.
August 24, 2015 |
The tsunami of mergers announced last month - Aetna's purchase of Humana and Anthem's purchase of Cigna - is expected to transform the health insurance industry, if the deals survive antitrust scrutiny by regulators. The consolidation will create three national giants, including UnitedHealth Group Inc., each with more than $100 billion in annual revenue, and add to the pressure on smaller Blue Cross-Blue Shield operators to merge. But don't count Independence Blue Cross, the region's largest health insurer and a major Center City employer, among those on the ropes.