13 health insurers in the headlines

The following payers made headlines this week. They are listed below, beginning with the most recent.

1. Anthem, Cigna CEOs testify in antitrust trial
The top executives from Anthem and Cigna testified to defend their proposed $54 billion combination from a U.S. Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit Nov. 22.

2. Horizon to fund New Jersey healthcare advocacy group
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield agreed to fund a healthcare advocacy organization comprised largely of business and labor groups aimed at improving healthcare literacy among New Jersey residents.

3. CHI Memorial, UnitedHealthcare reach agreement
CHI Memorial in Chattanooga, Tenn., and UnitedHealthcare repaired business ties Nov. 22, meaning about 5,000 UnitedHealthcare customers in the area can once again receive discounted care at CHI Memorial facilities.

4. St. Peter's Health System, CDPHP reach verbal agreement
Albany, N.Y.-based St. Peter's Health Partners and Albany-based Capital District Physicians' Health Plan verbally resolved disputes threatening to end their contract.

5. Court OKs Anthem sales of stripped down health plans in California
A California circuit judge denied plaintiffs' request for an injunction that would have stopped Anthem Blue Cross from switching 500,000 Californians to health plans that offered no out-of-network benefits.

6. Blue Cross of Idaho accused of exploiting 'illegal activity' loophole
Blue Cross of Idaho is fighting one federal lawsuit and recently lost a second after denying medical coverage to two men who the insurer claims were injured while committing illegal acts.

7. Cigna seeks action from medical practices to combat opioid overuse
Bloomfield, Conn.-based Cigna is continuing its initiative to curb opioid use by encouraging medical practices to sign a pledge to limit opioid prescriptions and treat opioid overuse as a chronic condition. 

8. BCBS of Rhode Island appoints managing director of information security
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island named Julie Fitton managing director of information security.

9. Blue Shield California CEO: 'We're not running for the hills'
Blue Shield of California CEO Paul Markovich said he is committed to selling coverage on the state exchange despite Republicans' vow to repeal ACA legislation.

10. Sendero Health Plans implements Softheon cloud-based IT solution
Austin, Texas-based Sendero Health Plans selected Stony Brook, N.Y.-based health IT provider Softheon to assist with its enrollment, financial management, reporting and analytics operations.

11. BCBS of Montana prepares for health IT, server layoffs
Helena-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana will cut health IT and server positions by February or March next year.

12. BCBS of Michigan looks to fill 100 customer service positions
Detroit-based Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is hiring 100 individuals to staff full-time customer service positions for its Detroit and Southfield, Mich., offices.

13. BCBS, Baylor Scott & White Health ink 4-year agreement 
Richardson-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas and Dallas-based Baylor Scott & White Health extended their relationship through a four-year contract.   

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