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Independence Blue Cross

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BUSINESS
December 9, 1993 | By Gilbert M. Gaul, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether Independence Blue Cross violated federal antitrust laws by requiring local hospitals to give the insurer special discount rates based on the number of patients covered by the insurer. Independence president G. Fred DiBona Jr. was notified of the civil probe Friday in a letter from Steven Kramer, a lawyer in the Justice Department's Antitrust Division in Washington. Kramer stressed that the department had reached no conclusions regarding the health insurer's "Prudent Buyer" policy, which requires hospitals to give Blue Cross their lowest rates if it insures a majority of their patients.
NEWS
April 4, 2002 | By CHRISTOPHER CASHMAN
FINDING LOCAL writers with something original to say clearly has gotten tougher at the Daily News. How else to explain a decision to give Jonathan Stein two columns in less than four weeks - both pushing the same self-serving attack on Independence Blue Cross? Could it be Daily News editors have decided to hide behind a guest columnist's "opinions" to publish the same errors and misleading information that the Inquirer published back in February? In two efforts to date, Mr. Stein has parroted the Inquirer's flat-out wrong assertions that IBC's reserves are "excessive," that IBC is a "charity" and that IBC avoids paying taxes.
NEWS
August 25, 2013 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is President Obama's signature legislation, it seems only fair that Independence Blue Cross is lifting a page from his 2012 reelection ground game to target and woo the region's uninsured. In an out-of-the-box move for health insurance marketing, Independence used data bought from a third party and supplemented with public records to create a density map of uninsured people in the region's five Pennsylvania counties, right down to their estimated income level.
BUSINESS
October 3, 2013 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Aetna Inc.'s rates for Southeastern Pennsylvania on the new federal health-insurance exchange - which stumbled into life Tuesday, tripped up by a too-high volume of potential customers in the early going - are higher across the board than those offered by Independence Blue Cross. Experts cautioned that consumers must assess the details when comparing health-insurance plans and that the size of the hospital and physician network, the level of co-pays for a doctor's visit, and other factors can have a significant impact on monthly premiums.
NEWS
August 31, 2010 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Joseph A. Frick, 58, president and chief executive of Independence Blue Cross, will retire Dec. 15, the company told employees in an e-mail this afternoon. Replacing him will be Daniel J. Hilferty, a longtime company executive who built Independence Blue Cross's for-profit AmeriHealth Mercy group of companies into the largest Medicaid managed care organization in the U.S. covering 6.5 million people in 14 states. "As you can imagine, this is a decision I did not make without careful thought and consultation, given the tremendous respect and fondness I have for all of you and IBC," Frick wrote.
BUSINESS
August 24, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
February 7, 2016 | By Jacob Adelman, STAFF WRITER
Independence Blue Cross has begun moving staff of its AmeriHealth Administrators subsidiary from two suburban offices into the newly renovated 1900 Market St. office building in Center City. The staffers were relocated from Horsham and Fort Washington to the building that "better reflects and supports AHA's collaborative culture and accommodates future growth," Independence spokeswoman Elizabeth H. Sell said Friday in a statement. The insurance provider now occupies 113,000 square feet of the 228,000 square feet that it plans to fill at the building, according its owner Brandywine Realty Trust.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 30, 2016
ISSUE | HEALTH CARE Insurance unaffordable I am worried about proposed health-insurance rate hikes proposed for next year. Aetna has requested an 18 percent increase for its HMO, and Independence Blue Cross's Keystone Health Plan East, also an HMO, has proposed a 13 percent increase. Medical treatments are getting pricier every year, and a recent study by the University of Michigan found that patients are bearing a much larger share of that cost. According to the four-year study, deductibles rose 86 percent and coinsurance costs increased 33 percent.
NEWS
August 18, 2016 | By Harold Brubaker, Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
August 13, 2016 | By Harold Brubaker, STAFF WRITER
Tandigm Health said Thursday that 65 primary care physicians in a group affilated with St. Mary Medical Center, in Langhorne, had joined its network, bringing the Tandigm total to 440. Tandigm, based in West Conshohocken, is a joint venture of affiliates of Independence Blue Cross and DaVita HealthCare Partners. Its goal is to help primary doctors coordinate patient care in a bid to improve quality and reduce costs. hbrubaker@phillynews.com 215-854-4651 @InqBrubaker  
BUSINESS
August 4, 2016
Health insurers have requested rate changes for individual plans that will be offered this fall on New Jersey's Affordable Care Act marketplace, according to data posted Monday on HealthCare.gov. The biggest requested increase was from Oxford Health Insurance Inc., a unit of UnitedHealthcare. Its Oxford NJ EPO (exclusive provider organization) asked for an average rate increase of 32.3 percent, which would affect an estimated 3,441 people. The state's largest insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, requested increases for individual plans ranging from slightly less than 1 percent for its basic catastrophic plan to 7.55 percent for an Advantage exclusive provider plan.
BUSINESS
July 9, 2016 | By Harold Brubaker, Staff Writer
The insurer Health Partners Plans had 32 percent of the Medicaid market in Southeastern Pennsylvania last year, but accounted for 70 percent of regional spending on hepatitis C drugs. That meant the Philadelphia company spent $32 million on expensive new drugs to treat the disease that damages the liver - and had to absorb 60 percent of that outlay as a loss because its contract did not include enough money to cover a surge in hepatitis C treatments. But this year, Pennsylvania regulators launched a risk-sharing plan to help its Medicaid contractors withstand the crippling costs of hepatitis C drugs, which cure the disease but are so expensive that states and Medicaid plans have struggled with how to pay for them.
BUSINESS
July 8, 2016 | By Harold Brubaker, Staff Writer
Win some, lose some. That's how it goes for Independence Blue Cross subsidiary AmeriHealth Caritas, which manages Medicaid benefits for state governments and has limited opportunities to bid on contracts. But lately the wins have been outweighing the losses for the company, which has its headquarters near Philadelphia International Airport and employs 5,600. That should help AmeriHealth Caritas continue the financial gains it posted last year, when it had net income of $93 million on $6.54 billion of revenue, according to the annual report of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which owns 38.7 percent of the company.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
May 10, 2016
To celebrate the first-year success of Indego, Philadelphia's bike-sharing program, its staff recently donned T-shirts sporting the slogan "Inbudget, Incontrol, Independent, Inshape. " Given the soaring popularity of Indego, which saw riders straddle its distinctive teal bicycles more than 420,000 times last year, the day may come when "In Every Zip Code" will be added to that list. But for that to happen, Indego's scope, ambition - and, yes, funding - will have to grow too. It was evident at Indego's first birthday celebration - which took place on the Race Street Pier, complete with a cake-cutting by Mayor Kenney - that there is substantial demand for a bike-sharing system that reaches deeper into city neighborhoods.
BUSINESS
April 23, 2016 | By Harold Brubaker, Staff Writer
Tandigm Health, a West Conshohocken start-up designed to help primary-care doctors manage costs and improve care in Southeastern Pennsylvania, said Friday that it cut health-care expenditures by $15 million last year. Most of the savings - which totaled $3 million more than hoped for - came in the Medicare Advantage side of the business, which covers about 25,000 patients, Tandigm president and chief executive Anthony Coletta said. "We dropped our Medicare Advantage spend by 3 percent, which is a big thing in the Philadelphia market," said Coletta, who is also an executive at Independence Blue Cross, one of Tandigm's owners.
NEWS
April 14, 2016
By Daniel J. Hilferty and Bill Roberson National Volunteer Week, which began on Sunday, was established by President Richard Nixon in 1974 to recognize the incredible social and economic impact volunteers make. Coincidentally, that was the same year the first Ronald McDonald House was founded here in Philadelphia. In 2014, roughly 62.8 million Americans spent 7.9 billion hours volunteering, and the Independent Sector estimates the value of those efforts at nearly $184 billion.
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