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Archive for July 23rd, 2008

This is from American Progressive, note that this is Medicare Training and Certification and that Product training will follow. . .  -Craig

We are excited to announce that we have expanded our Medicare product lines for 2009. 

I would like to personally invite you to attend one of our FREE MEDICARE PRODUCT and CERTIFICATION EVENTS and learn about what sets us apart from the competition. (more…)

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In continuing coverage from the July 22 edition of NAHU Newswire, Bloomberg (7/22, Goldstein) reported, “WellCare Health Plans Inc., the U.S. managed-care provider being investigated over possible fraud, gained the most ever in New York trading after the company restated its earnings since 2004.” (more…)

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The Wall Street Journal (7/23, B4, Fuhrmans) reports, “UnitedHealth Group Inc. reported a 73 percent decline in second-quarter net income, driven by charges related to the settlement of options-backdating cases, a poor economy, and fierce competition in” the insurance industry. “But given the stream of bad news from the health-insurance titan in recent earnings seasons, the absence of any nasty surprises actually prompted a 10 percent jump in UnitedHealth shares Tuesday, and a rally in the battered stocks of other managed care companies.” The insurer’s stocks “rose $2.38 to $26.21 in 4 p.m. New York Stock Exchange composite trading.” Prior to Tuesday’s jump, “the stock had tumbled nearly 60 percent this year.” UnitedHealth maintains, however, that the company continues “to grapple with drops in enrollment and smaller-than-expected premium increases, and it described a health-insurance market that remains tough to grow in.”

        UnitedHealth Chief Executive Stephen Hemsley contends that the “insurer has been battered by losses on some of its U.S. Medicare plans for the elderly, [and] higher spending on mental healthcare for families,” according to Bloomberg (7/22, Goldstein). The insurer’s medical claims cost also attributed to its earnings decline, rising in the second quarter to “83.2 percent of premium revenue, compared with 80.3 percent a year ago.”

        Additionally, “[s]ettlements in two class action lawsuits related to UnitedHealth’s former stock option granting practices resulted in a pretax charge of $922 million, or 47 cents per share, for the second quarter,” the AP (7/23) adds. But, the “assumption is the worst is over,” said Les Funtleyder, a Miller Tabak & Co. analyst, concerning the company’s unexpectedly rising share price. The stock prices “of other publicly traded insurers like Aetna Inc. and WellPoint Inc. also jumped several percentage points.”

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