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The Energy and Commerce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives advanced several health care initiatives Wednesday, the most significant of which could curb surprise medical bills.
Congress will be voting Wednesday on a repeal of what is known as the “Cadillac Tax”—a provision of the Affordable Care Act which would place a 40% tax on employer-sponsored health care plans which provide excess benefits.
Whether leaders are made or born, they need to have the mentality to keep evolving through constant learning and self-inventory to be their most effective self.
Senior Judge Richard Leon sent shares in drug store chain CVS (NYSE:CVS) lower after saying he might try to stop its $69 billion merger with Aetna (NYSE:AET), a health insurer. CVS announced the deal in December 2017. Since then, CVS stock is down over 25%. It was due to open for trade June 12 at about $54 per share. CVS' market cap of $70 billion is now just 36% of its 2018 revenue, which was $194 billion.Source: Mike Mozart via FlickrLeon told CVS' and Aetna's lawyers to "cancel their summer vacation," arguing the Department of Justice barely considered what adding 21 million customers could do for CVS' Caremark, a Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM).Oral arguments will be held July 17, a ruling coming shortly after. CVS has already agreed to sell its Medicare Part D plan, the only overlap with Aetna, to Wellcare, which in turn is being bought by Centene (NYSE:CNC).InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips The Question of CostsCentene's involvement begs the main question raised by the merger, which is whether the deal can cut healthcare costs.Centene's market advantage is cost visibility. Its business model is to profit in Medicare and Medicaid by owning clinics and other facilities its covered patients use. It was a big winner on the Obamacare exchanges, where it could offer much lower prices than standard insurance plans.The American Hospital Association opposes the CVS-Aetna merger, while supporting mergers between hospital groups, arguing that hospitals aren't the cause of health care inflation. * 10 Stocks That Every 30-Year-Old Should Buy and Hold Forever They're right. Drugs are. Combining PBMs and insurers is how the industry is fighting drug costs.CVS plans to turn 1,500 stores into "HealthHubs," after the merger, with labs, nurses and dieticians to treat chronic conditions like diabetes, representing 75% of America's health care bill.CVS has been preparing itself for a favorable outcome since February, when it reached the agreement with the Department of Justice Judge Leon is now reviewing. The Question of CompetitionLeon's objections are centered on Caremark, but that unit's problems were behind the merger in the first place.The PBM model was upended four years ago when UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), the largest private insurer, bought Catamaran, another PBM, for its own OptumRx unit.The deal made the stand-alone PBM market untenable. Since then, Express Scripts, the largest PBM, was acquired by Cigna (NYSE:CI), an Aetna rival. That merger, and the CVS-Aetna tie-up, followed failed attempts by Aetna to merge with Humana (NYSE:HUM) and by Cigna to merger with Anthem (NASDAQ:ANTM). Having failed at horizontal mergers because of their size (despite UnitedHealth being bigger than either combination), the second-tier players moved toward vertical mergers, hoping to compete through cost control.Thus, Leon seems intent on stopping a train that has already left the station. UnitedHealth, Centene and Cigna own PBMs, and he's going to stop CVS-Aetna because CVS owns one? The Bottom Line on CVS StockNot all mergers work. CVS' own acquisition of Omnicare, a long-term care provider, caused it take a $3.9 billion write-down in the second quarter of last year, and a net loss for all of 2018. * 7 U.S. Stocks to Buy With Limited Trade War Exposure But given how far insurers have gone along the road to matching income with outgo, the Aetna merger was looking like a winner. The delays have pushed CVS shares down enough to give its 50 cent per share dividend a yield of 3.82%, even though absent of write-offs, it covers that dividend with earnings two to three times over each year.The Leon delay looks like a good opportunity for income investors to grab a bargain.Dana Blankenhorn is a financial and technology journalist. He is the author of the mystery thriller, The Reluctant Detective Finds Her Family, available at the Amazon Kindle store. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * 7 High-Quality Cheap Stocks to Buy With $10 * 7 U.S. Stocks to Buy With Limited Trade War Exposure * 6 Growth Stocks That Could Be the Next Big Thing Compare Brokers The post Can CVS Stock Overcome the Latest Wrench in Its Aetna Merger? appeared first on InvestorPlace.
SAN DIEGO, June 04, 2019 -- The Shareholders Foundation, Inc. announces that a lawsuit was filed for investors who formerly held Aetna Inc (NYSE: AET) shares. Investors, who.
SAN DIEGO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / May 22, 2019 / The Shareholders Foundation, Inc. announces that a lawsuit was filed for investors who formerly held Aetna Inc (NYSE: AET) shares. Investors, who held shares ...
Investing.com - Wall Street opened higher on Wednesday as investor sentiment was lifted by upbeat earnings and guidance from Apple ahead of the latest monetary policy announcement from the Federal Reserve later in the day.
Investing.com - The Trump Administration wants the entire Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) declared unconstitutional and Cigna (NYSE:CI) shares fell back Tuesday as a result.
A U.S. judge who has been asked to sign off on a government agreement that allowed CVS Health Corp to buy health insurer Aetna ordered a hearing for April 5. Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued the order on Thursday, saying that he wanted the hearing to discuss which witnesses, if any, should testify before he decides whether to approve the government's deal with the companies. The Justice Department approved the merger of CVS, a U.S. pharmacy chain and benefits manager, and Aetna in October on condition that Aetna sell its Medicare prescription drug plan business to WellCare Health Plans Inc. That deal has also closed.
Roughly 1 in 4 Americans don't have dental coverage, according to industry figures. Employers are by far the biggest provider of dental benefits in the U.S., accounting for nearly half of all enrollees, followed by the government's Medicaid plan for low-income people. Researchers have shown that costs are a bigger obstacle to dental care in the U.S. than all other forms of health care.
Millions of Americans get their health insurance and retirement accounts through their employers. Now some are getting help with their debt.
The U.S. Justice Department formally asked a judge on Monday to approve its deal to allow CVS Health Corp to merge with insurer Aetna. Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia scolded the government and parties late last year for closing the $69 billion dollar merger before the consent order was approved by the court. With the government's request for final approval of the merger, Leon may sign off on the deal with no further ado or may decide to hold a hearing to allow critics to raise their concerns, said Andre Barlow of the law firm Doyle, Barlow and Mazard PLLC, an antitrust expert who has been following the case.
Investing.com - Shares in CVS (NYSE:CVS) tumbled Wednesday after the company was forced to take another $2.2 billion charge against its struggling long-term care business, built around its 2015 acquisition of Omnicare.
Called "Attain," the Apple Watch app will reward Aetna customers for meeting activity goals and fulfilling recommended tasks, such as getting vaccinations or refilling medications, with a subsidy towards the cost of an Apple Watch or gift cards for U.S. retailers. Several insurers have offered such subsidies for using wearable devices to meet generic activity goals such as a number of steps in the past.
CVS Health Corp, a top U.S. manager of pharmacy benefits, has added new migraine drugs from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Eli Lilly and Co to its list of covered drugs, excluding a rival treatment from Amgen Inc, a CVS spokeswoman told Reuters on Friday. CVS's decision represents a setback for sales of Amgen's Aimovig, as many patients who rely on the coverage list will now have easier access to the rival Teva and Lilly drugs. Inclusion on the preferred drugs lists by the largest pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and health insurers is seen as critically important for sales of new medicines.
The companies intend to use blockchain technology, which allows the sharing of databases across a network of computers, for processing claims and payments and to maintain directories, they said in a joint statement. Blockchain, the technology that underpins crypto-currencies such as bitcoin, is being increasingly adopted across varied industries. Financial services firms too note the distributed ledger technology has the potential to generate wide-ranging savings.
CVS Pharmacy unveiled an initiative in U.S. stores on Thursday, labeling photos of models in its beauty aisles to make it clear whether the images had been digitally altered. The U.S. No 2 drugstore chain, part of CVS Health Corp , is the first major American company to adopt such a policy in the face of rising concerns about doctored images setting unrealistic ideals of beauty, especially for young women. The retailer said on Thursday that 70 percent of all in-store beauty imagery was now flagged as "beauty unaltered" or "digitally altered." The company announced its "Beauty Mark" initiative a year ago, but only on Thursday did it appear in stores.
Raymond James is making more conservative assumptions and lowered its 2019 earnings per share estimate by 30 cents to $7.40. The Raymond James note was issued before CVS announced later Tuesday that Walmart would no longer participate in the network of providers where customers of some of CVS’s Caremark pharmacy benefit programs can have their prescriptions filled.
CVS said the dispute would not impact Walmart's presence in its Medicare Part D pharmacy network, which according to Cowen & Co analyst Charles Rhyee was a bright spot as it represented a larger chunk of CVS' scripts. "At a time when everyone is working hard to find ways to reduce healthcare costs, Walmart's requested rates would ultimately result in higher costs for our clients and consumers," Derica Rice, president of CVS Caremark, said in a statement https://cvshealth.com/newsroom/press-releases/cvs-health-announces-walmart-decision-leave-cvs-caremark-commercial-and. Walmart spokeswoman Marilee McInnis said the retailer was continuing discussions with CVS Caremark, the company's pharmacy benefits unit.
Biden's frontrunner status is good news for the pharmaceutical stocks and the hospital chains. More importantly, it's not too late to invest in these stocks because Trump keeps giving more reasons to bail on companies with exposure to China and circle the wagons around the pure domestics.
Many Americans struggle with high health care costs, and they want help from Washington. But that doesn’t mean they’re willing to give up private insurance. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey of people with employer-provided insurance finds that 68% say their plan is excellent or good. One-quarter say their coverage is average, with only 6% rating their plan as poor or failing. Overall, 72% say they’re “grateful” for their coverage.
Jim Cramer says the move would boost Apple's stock price and give the company a surefire way to solidify its place in the health-care arena.