This week, we have an update on the 3rd quarter life and annuity results, a summary on Medicare Part D enrollees being exposed to high out-of-pocket drug costs, and UHC adding fitness benefits to Medicare Advantage plans in 9 states.
Insurers Beat Expectations in Q3, But Can It Last? | InsuranceNewsNet | November 14, 2017
It was a memorable quarter for life and annuity insurers. Companies beat earnings estimates, key executives spoke of receding concerns surrounding the fiduciary rule, and the beleaguered variable annuity market showed signs of life.
The all-around good news – “Nirvana-like conditions,” in the words of one Wall Street analyst – aren’t sustainable over the long run, however.
Maybe not, but why rain on the life insurance party?
“Profitability across the industry has surged, reflecting favorable underwriting results and strength in equity-sensitive products,” wrote Morgan Stanley analyst Nigel Dally in a note to clients.
Third quarter results continued to build on strong results from the second quarter, with 15 companies in the analyst’s coverage universe beating expectations.
No Limit: Medicare Part D Enrollees Exposed to High Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs Without a Hard Cap on Spending | Kaiser Family Foundation | November 7, 2017
Since 2006, the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit has helped improve the affordability of medications for people with Medicare. Yet even with Part D, enrollees can face relatively high out-of-pocket costs because there is no hard cap on out-of-pocket spending under Part D. Enrollees are required to pay up to 5 percent of their drug costs above the catastrophic coverage threshold, unless they receive low-income subsidies that help pay Part D premiums and cost sharing. For high-priced medications, this relatively small coinsurance rate can translate into significant out-of-pocket costs. This analysis examines out-of-pocket prescription drug spending among Medicare Part D enrollees with costs above the catastrophic coverage threshold.
UnitedHealthcare to Add Fitness Benefits to Medicare Advantage Plans in 9 States | Club Industry | November 15, 2017
UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans in 11 states will soon offer new fitness benefits that allow access to classes, equipment and events at participating health clubs.
At no extra cost, Optum Fitness Advantage will become available in January 2018 to those enrolled in eligible UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans, according to a UnitedHealth Group media release. In states such as New York and Texas, plan participants will be able to access standard member services at certain health club chains—including New York Sports Clubs, Snap Fitness, LA Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness and Anytime Fitness—with a waiver of all enrollment fees.