Posts Tagged - ‘business’

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How Will CVS and Walgreens’ Beef Affect Your Prescription Health Insurance?

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Image: pixeljones under CC 3.0

Cutthroat rivals in the drugstore industry, Walgreen’s and CVS are now locked in a feud that has the potential to affect where many people with employer-sponsored defined benefit health insurance plans.

CVS Caremark, which runs prescription drug programs for many large corporations, recently forbade its members from filling their prescriptions at Walgreen’s locations. In response, Walgreen has stopped accepting patients with CVS plans. In other words, a pharmacy can now be considered out-of-network, and you may have to pay full price for your medications.

Due to this rivalry, companies that offer group health insurance with prescription coverage might switch to one of the outsiders (Walgreen has its own plans, though they are little used): Medco and Express Scripts are among them. As a result, you may have to switch pharmacists.

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Not Mmm-Mmm Good: Healthcare Reform Hurts Campbell’s Soup Profits

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Image: Dennis Goedegebuure under CC 3.0

Yet another corporation has modified their financial statements to account for the negative impact of healthcare reform. This time it’s Campbell’s Soup.

Although sales of its products actually rose in the fiscal third quarter, the charges related to the health insurance plan legislation are one of the factors leading to a 3.4% decrease in profit.

Accounting principles require companies to predict future losses. Many firms are preparing for the increased burden of employees’ insurance, as well as the possibility of higher taxes.

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Are Health Insurance Company Mergers Good Or Bad?

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Image: TheTruthAbout… under CC 3.0

Corporate mergers are a fact of life. In recent years, more of them have occurred in the health insurance industry. The healthcare reform law may end up forcing more of them to merge or go out of business.

How do these mergers affect consumers? On the positive side, they allow firms to band together and negotiate lower rates from providers due to their combined policyholder base. However, they decrease the amount of competition and the choices of affordable health insurance available.

The latter is especially dangerous when the major health insurance plan providers in a state merge, leaving residents with few options. Antitrust law could be used to challenge the mergers, but it rarely has been. There are ups and downs, besides.

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