July 12, 2023
Payers | Tea Leaves
  • UnitedHealthcare will end out-of-pocket costs for its 24/7 Virtual Visits in some of its fully insured plans beginning July 1. The insurance giant revealed the change through a notice to its brokers about the new offering. According to the alert, the $0 cost for these urgent care visits will become available upon renewal or at new enrollment for the eligible plans. The goal, the insurer said, is to make it easier for people to access care for acute needs. The changes to cost-sharing will extend to people in high-deductible health plans, which can offer ease of mind for members and families who have yet to meet their deductible for the year. (Article here)
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, faced with increasingly diversified and growing for-profit rivals, are testing new corporate structures they hope will provide them with the capital and flexibility they need to remain competitive. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is the latest example, with the nonprofit carrier receiving state approval this month to transfer a portion of its money, property, and other investments to a new parent company run by the same executives. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey converted to a similar nonprofit mutual holding company at the end of last year. The reorganizations allow the North Carolina and New Jersey Blues to operate more like their for-profit rivals by creating new nonprofit entities not subject to regulations on reserves, investments, and corporate status that govern their insurance operations. (Article here)