Articles by Tom Murphy

Employers, Insurers See Virtual First-Care Medical Visits Becoming Routine

Make telemedicine your first choice for most doctor visits. That’s the message some U.S. employers and insurers are sending with a new wave of care options. Amazon and several insurers have started or expanded virtual-first care plans to get people …

Aetna Waiving Patient Co-Pays for Coronavirus Hospital Stays

One of the nation’s biggest health insurers is waiving patient payments for hospital stays tied to the coronavirus. CVS Health’s insurer Aetna said Wednesday that many of its customers will not have to make co-payments or other forms of cost …

Airlift from Drugstore to Doorstep: Walgreens, Google’s Wing Testing Drone Deliveries

Walgreens and a Google affiliate are testing drone deliveries that can put drugstore products on customer doorsteps minutes after being ordered. Snacks like Goldfish Crackers or gummy bears as well as aspirin for sick kids will be delivered starting next …

Employees Picking Up More of Health Costs

A growing number of U.S. workers are covered by health insurance that sticks them with a bigger share of the medical bill but also softens that blow by providing a special account to help with the expense. Companies are turning …

Health Insurers Working to Improve Provider Network Directories

Some health insurers are hoping to ease headaches that can flare when customers try to confirm whether a doctor is covered in a plan’s network of providers. The trade association America’s Health Insurance Plans will soon start testing a more …

Once Profitable, Maine’s Community Health Option Is Now Losing Millions

The lone health insurance cooperative to make money last year on the Affordable Care Act’s public insurance exchanges is now losing millions and suspending individual enrollment for 2016. Maine’s Community Health Options lost more than $17 million in the first …

Big Health Insurers Still View Obamacare as Big Opportunity

Slipping enrollment and struggling competitors have done little to shake the faith that the nation’s biggest health insurers have placed in the Affordable Care Act’s public insurance exchanges. Aetna executives said last week that the exchanges, a key element in …

Health Insurer CEOs Defend Big Mergers Before Senate

Leaders of two major health insurers planning multibillion dollar acquisitions made their case to Congress this week that bigger can mean better in their industry, but concerns are being raised in Washington about how these deals will affect consumers and …

Employers Try Adding Genetic Testing to Employee Wellness Mix

Employers may one day help determine if employees’ genes are why their jeans have become too snug. Big companies are considering blending genetic testing with coaching on nutrition and exercise to help workers lose weight and improve their health before …

Healthcare Overhaul Boosts Earnings at Insurer WellPoint

Indianapolis, Ind.-based WellPoint raised its 2014 earnings forecast again and trumped third-quarter expectations as the overhaul of the healthcare system adds millions to the nation’s health insurance rolls, and at a lower cost than was expected at the nation’s second …