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Выбор редакции
29 июня, 17:53

After 164 Years, Aetna Is Leaving Connecticut For New York

While the public's attention is keenly focused on whether Illinois will reach a budget deal in the next 2 days ahead of the next fiscal year which begins on July 1, avoiding the first ever downgrade to junk for a US state as the state piles up some $15 billion in unpaid bills and now oews more than $800 million in interest on the unpaid balances alone, the financial peril facing Connecticut is just as dire. We laid out the big picture one month ago in "Connecticut State Capital Prepares For Bankruptcy Amid Collapse In Hedge Fund Revenue." And now, as the state rushes to iron out its own budget deal ahead of the June 30 deadline, another major hit for the fiscally challenged state has emerged because one of the state's most reliable sources of corporate tax revenue, Aetna, is leaving Hartford and moving to New York. According to the NYT, Aetna, the insurance giant founded in Hartford, where it has been for the past 164 years, announced Thursday that it would move its headquarters to New York City despite intensive lobbying efforts by Connecticut officials. The move is a blow to the company’s hometown, which is facing severe financial problems, and a potential boon for Aetna, which stands to receive $24 million in tax breaks over the next decade, among other benefits, for its new headquarters in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. The relocation, which involves 250 current and new executive and digital jobs, bolsters New York City’s vision of itself as an emerging digital powerhouse, but also continues the erosion in Connecticut of an industry that has long been an economic engine there. The number of workers employed in the insurance industry in Hartford and the surrounding area has plunged to 37,000 this year from over 60,000 in 1990, according to federal statistics. According to Empire State Development, New York State’s economic development agency, Aetna will invest $89 million to transform 145,000 square feet in a building on Ninth Avenue into its new home. The decision to move from CT was likely not easy, although in the end NY provided enough incentives to management to make the switch: efforts to lure the company were highly competitive — Aetna considered numerous cities for its new home, but in the end New York offered one of the most attractive deals. Besides the state tax credits, which are based on the number of new jobs Aetna creates, the New York City Economic Development Corporation will provide nearly $10 million worth of incentives through a combination of property and sales tax credits, among other benefits. The move is a coup for Mayor Bill de Blasio who said that “New York City is where talent and technology come together" adding that "we’ve never been stronger.’’ The decision comes as a double blow to Hartford, which had agreed to match the package after news broke this year about Aetna’s plan to move, according to the administration of Connecticut’s governor, Dannel P. Malloy. But it was not meant to be: "the company places greater emphasis on creating digital tools for people to manage their health care, being in New York City, with its large reservoir of talent, seemed vital to the company’s future" said Mark T. Bertolini, Aetna’s chairman and CEO. New York provides “the ecosystem of having people in the knowledge economy, working in a town they want to be living in, and we want to attract those folks, and we want to have them on our team,” Mr. Bertolini said in an interview. “It’s very hard to recruit people like that to Hartford.”   "It is a difficult decision,” Mr. Bertolini added. “We have continued to work with the governor and mayor of Hartford to try and improve the quality of life in the Hartford area, but that is too slow in coming.” While Aetna is moving its headquarters out of the state, about 5,000 employees will remain in Connecticut, although it is unlikely they will remain in their seats for long. Meanwhile, realizing just how precarious the situation is for the troubled state, a spokeswoman for Gov. Malloy quickly came to Hartford’s defense. “While Hartford may not be New York City, we are proud of the city’s revitalization,’’ the spokeswoman, Meg Green, said. “Hartford provides a strong foundation for any company in the insurance sector, large or small. From a very deep bench of top insurance talent, to incredible school systems and a high quality of life for employees, Connecticut remains the insurance capital of the world for good reason.” For Hartford, losing Aetna, a company with a history closely linked to the city (a son of the founder served as the city’s mayor), is not just a crushing blow in terms of revenue, but leaves it with just one major insurance company. That company, the Hartford Financial Services Group, which has been in Hartford for more than 200 years, isn’t going anywhere, according to its chairman and chief executive, Christopher J. Swift, unless of course some Chinese conglomerate comes in and swoops it up once the moratorium on outbound M&A ends. The good news, at least for now, is that Hartford remains "bullish on the city", where recent real estate developments could help reverse its economic slide. “We are encouraged by the early signs of revitalization in the city and the more honest assessment and discussion of priorities in light of fiscal realities at the city and state level.” Mr. Swift said. “We are committed to the city, and the state of Connecticut.” He may change his mind soon, especially if - as some have speculated - a bankruptcy for Connecticut is imminent.

29 июня, 17:43

Medtronic (MDT) Partners with Aetna for Type 1 & 2 Diabetes (Revised)

Medtronic plc (MDT) inked a new outcomes-based collaboration with Aetna (AET) for type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients who are on doses of multiple daily insulin injections.

Выбор редакции
29 июня, 17:22

Aetna to move headquarters to New York in late 2018

This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.

Выбор редакции
29 июня, 17:22

Aetna becomes latest Connecticut employer to relocate

This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.

Выбор редакции
27 июня, 17:31

Medtronic (MDT) Partners with Aetna for Type 1 & 2 Diabetes

Medtronic plc (MDT) recently inked a new 'outcomes-based' collaboration with Aetna (AET) for type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients who are on doses of multiple daily insulin injections.

26 июня, 16:01

Aetna Inks New Deal to Improve Healthcare in North Carolina

Aetna, Inc. (AET) recently inked a deal with Community Care Physician Network, LLC

23 июня, 16:14

Senate Releases AHCA Draft Bill, Healthcare Stocks Surge

The Senate recently released the draft version of the healthcare bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

22 июня, 16:26

Anthem Quits 2 More Exchanges Amid Regulatory Uncertainty

Anthem Inc. (ANTM) is quitting public exchange markets in the states of Wisconsin and Indiana for 2018.

Выбор редакции
21 июня, 11:37

Senate cannot repeal Obamacare, only fix it: Aetna CEO

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini speaks about how U.S. President Donald Trump's proposed health care reform will play out.

21 июня, 01:11

Looming Obamacare deadline forces decision from skittish insurers

Decision day is here for the health insurers that serve Obamacare markets. The health plans must decide by Wednesday whether to file plans to sell through the federal exchange HealthCare.gov in 2018. But they’re still waiting for assurances the Trump administration will fund subsidies to reduce low-income customers’ health costs. The White House on Tuesday agreed to make the payments for June. But uncertainty over what happens after that is turning efforts to cover Obamacare’s poorest customers into a game of chicken — and adding instability to already shaky insurance markets. At least a half-dozen plans have already announced plans to drop out, leaving tens of thousands of customers uncovered if no one else steps in. “There’s absolutely no guarantee they will get those payments, and that’s what’s driving insurers crazy,” said Tim Jost, a legal expert on the Affordable Care Act. Anthem, which already announced its exit from Ohio's Obamacare marketplace in 2018, on Wednesday said it would stop selling exchange plans in Iowa and Wisconsin next year, partly attributing its decision to uncertainty about Obamacare's future. The Republican National Committee cited Anthem's announcement as it urged Congress to "act quickly to fix the mess of Obamacare."Meanwhile, the buzzy insurance startup Oscar Health on Wednesday said it will broaden its Obamacare offerings in five states next year. The expansion represents a major bet on the insurance marketplaces by the company, which was co-founded by the brother of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and top adviser. Insurers are facing confusion about whether the Trump administration will continue enforcing the 2010 health law’s mandate that most Americans obtain coverage — and about the fate of congressional Republican efforts to repeal and replace the ACA. Senate GOP leaders are still trying to cobble together enough votes to pass a bill by the end of next week.An HHS spokeswoman said Tuesday the agency is “weighing our options and still evaluating the issues” surrounding the subsidy payments. “Congress could resolve any uncertainty about the payments by passing the AHCA and reforming Obamacare’s failed funding structure,” she said, referring to the House Obamacare repeal plan.The muddled outlook is leading plans to retrench or dramatically raise prices to protect themselves from what’s proven to be a turbulent, money-losing experience over the last three years. “The market is still a very challenged market,” said Caroline Pearson, a senior vice president at Avalere Health. “That very challenged market is exacerbated by political uncertainty around ACA repeal and cost-sharing reduction payments.” Opting in by Wednesday’s deadline doesn’t commit plans to remain in the marketplaces. They can walk away as late as the end of September, when they have to sign contracts. But just going through the initial rate-setting process is costly and time-consuming. Some plans have already had enough and are exiting markets, citing uncertainty over the subsidy payments and the GOP repeal efforts. That includes Anthem’s decision to drop out of Ohio, potentially leaving up to 18 counties without any options for coverage. The current state of play shows as many as 44 bare counties for 2018, accounting for 31,000 Obamacare customers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Federal subsidies, which more than 8 in 10 exchange enrollees rely on to afford coverage, would be rendered worthless if there are no plans willing to participate. “It’s fair to say that this is unprecedented that there’s so many counties at risk of being bare,” said Cynthia Cox, who tracks insurer participation for the Kaiser Family Foundation. Some insurers still see business opportunities in the exchange markets. Centene announced last week that it plans to enter three new states next year and expand its footprint in six others. Although the insurer wouldn't elaborate on specific counties, several of the states are among those with coverage gaps. In addition, Medica announced plans to sell individual plans statewide in both Nebraska and Iowa. That dampened fears that those states might lack carriers in 2018 for dozens of counties following the exits of Aetna and regional Blue Cross Blue Shield plans.But there’s other grim news that could have more widespread ramifications: Premiums continue to skyrocket in much of the country. Many analysts had predicted that the huge rate hikes for 2017 — averaging more than 20 percent — were a one-time correction, and that there would more sustainable increases in 2018 and beyond. The filing season so far points to more turbulence. An Avalere Health analysis of proposed rate hikes for the most popular Obamacare plans in eight states found average rate hikes of 18 percent. That was well above the 12 percent average premium increase for so-called silver plans in 2017. Even historically stable markets are showing signs of tumult. In Washington state, which has embraced Obamacare, insurers want to raise rates for individual plans by an average of more than 20 percent for next year, and one county doesn’t have an insurer willing to sell coverage. There are several factors behind the steeper-than-expected rate hikes, most notably uncertainty surrounding the cost-sharing subsidies.While the Trump administration has so far continued making payments to plans, there’s no guarantee they will continue beyond this month. Trump has repeatedly suggested that he sees the fate of the payments as leverage to propel Democrats to negotiate on Obamacare repeal — even though Democrats have ruled that out. Trump has remained noncommittal, despite recent calls from top Republicans such as House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) for continued funding. “The payments will help to avoid the real possibility that millions of Americans will literally have zero options for insurance in the individual market in 2018,” Alexander said at a committee hearing last week. But there’s also anxiety around whether the individual mandate will be enforced, and whether younger and healthier customers decide to drop coverage if they conclude they won't have to pay a fine. New Mexico Health Connections is proposing rate hikes of up to 80 percent for next year. That assumes that there will be no cost-sharing subsidies and that the individual mandate won’t be enforced. It also reflects evidence that the plan is already seeing its cohort of younger, healthier customers dropping coverage. “That tells us that the near-death spiral is a real phenomenon,” said Martin Hickey, CEO of New Mexico Health Connections.The New Mexico insurer also is pricing in the possibility that it could be the only health plan left serving the market and soaking up all the financial risk. Without all of these exacerbating factors, Hickey estimates that rate hikes would be much different. His educated guess: increases of 10 to 20 percent. The other big wild card is what’s going to happen on Capitol Hill. Republicans had hoped to have a bill on the president’s desk before spring break, but now they’re struggling to get something passed through both chambers before they adjourn for the August recess. That’s adding to insurers' anxiety. “I absolutely think it exacerbates the rates for 2018,” said Tennessee Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak, a Republican. “Everyone thought we would have a bit more certainty at this point.”

19 июня, 16:50

Is Aetna (AET) a Great Stock for Value Investors?

Let's see if Aetna Inc. (AET) stock is a good choice for value-oriented investors right now from multiple angles.

Выбор редакции
12 июня, 16:30

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: American Express, Las Vegas Sands, Aetna, Yahoo and Baker Hughes

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: American Express, Las Vegas Sands, Aetna, Yahoo and Baker Hughes

09 июня, 20:15

Top Stock Research Reports for AmEx, Las Vegas Sands & Aetna

Top Stock Research Reports for AmEx, Las Vegas Sands & Aetna

09 июня, 14:07

Aetna stock price target raised to $162 from $147 at RBC Capital

This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.

08 июня, 16:17

UnitedHealth (UNH) Announces 20% Dividend Hike, Stock Gains

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) has once again cheered its investors by instituting a quarterly dividend hike of 20%.

Выбор редакции
08 июня, 12:11

GOP uncertainty over Obamacare drives out insurers

Insurers are fleeing the marketplaces, citing worries about subsidy payments and the individual mandate.

08 июня, 07:17

Аналитики Morgan Stanley пересмотрели рейтинг акций ряда компаний

Вчера, 7 июня, аналитики Morgan Stanley пересмотрели рейтинги и целевые цены ряда американских компаний. В частности, рейтинг акций UnitedHealth Group, Humana, Cigna и Aetna был установлен "выше рынка", а целевая цена бумаг на уровне $202, $262, $184 и $162 соответственно. Между тем, рейтинг акций Tenet Healthcare и Anthem был установлен "на уровне рынка", и целевая цена бумаг на отметке $19 и $196 соответственно. Целевая цена акций компании Electronic Arts была увеличена, в свою очередь, с $114 до $126.

07 июня, 16:38

Here's Why You Should Bet on Humana (HUM) Stock Right Now

Louisville-based Humana Inc. (HUM), one of the largest health care plan providers in the United States, has been an investor favorite, given its strong fundamentals