Lots of big info out this week, and a few tidbits about pending deals in the workers’ comp services space too. Here are the highlights…(for the latest on deals in the work comp space, scroll down)
There’s a lot of confusion about the Obamacare signups; I’ll cover this in detail next week, but here are the facts as of today…
- more than 7.1 million signed up via the federal and state exchanges (we won’t know the total for a week or so as some state exchanges haven’t posted final March numbers)
- a lot more – i’d guess a million to two million – bought insurance via the private exchanges
- about 20 percent won’t pay the premium and there’s some duplication between all the exchanges and other enrollment methods for reasons we’ll discuss next week
- more than 5 million MORE Americans have insurance today than at the end of 2013.
The net – Obamacare has increased coverage substantially; the uninsurance rate has dropped by 2.7 points.
Meanwhile, Fitch reports the P&C industry is doing just grand, thank you. Profits are up, loss ratios declined, underwriting margins are improving, and revenue is too. Thank the continued hard market and expanding economy.
Work comp is doing better as well, altho there’s still a negative underwriting margin. It remains to be seen if pricing discipline holds, or if some big carriers cross the stupid line.
The “doc fix” is in; Congress passed and the President signed a bill that will increase Medicare reimbursement for physicians by 0.5% for the next 12 months. The bill also:
- delays implementation of ICD-10 for a year till October 2015 – for an excellent discussion of how this will affect workers’ comp, read Sandy Blunt’s piece at workers compensation.com
- and does some other stuff which you probably don’t care about and I won’t bore you with.
Work comp services Coventry is trying to sell their marginally
–profitable work comp service business lines – we’re talking CM, UM, MSA, peer review, and likely pharmacy. They will NOT be selling the jewels – bill review and the network, because a) they make huge profits; b) bill review really isn’t sellable as the application is quite dated and would require the buyer to transition to a different platform likely resulting in customer defections; and c) they can’t sell the network.
Coincidentally, another large case management firm is also for sale; word is Apax/OneCallCareManagement is currently the leading contender; most likely they will add the asset to their ever-growing list of companies.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t speculate that Apax is looking hard at the Coventry assets as well. OCCM CEO Joe Delaney has certainly proved himself a competent manager, but methinks the thought of adding these two to the portfolio would give even the best of execs pause…
Enjoy the weekend, watch some baseball, get out in the gardens, and ride your bike.