State Highlights: Insurer Uses Tenn. Position For Bargaining Power; N.Y.'s Medicaid Cash Drain

A selection of state stories from Tennessee and New York.

Kaiser Health News: A Tennessee Insurer Uses Its Monopoly To Deliver Bargain Premiums
The dominion of Tennessee’s largest health insurer is reflected in its headquarters’ lofty perch above the city, atop a hill that during the Civil War was lined with Union cannons to repel Confederate troops. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has used its position to establish a similarly firm foothold in the first year of the marketplaces created by the health law. The company sold 88 percent of the plans for Tennessee individuals and families. Only one other insurer, Cigna, bothered to offer policies in Chattanooga, and the premiums were substantially higher than those offered by BlueCross (Rau, 8/6).

The Wall Street Journal: Moody's: Medicaid Issue Is Negative Development For New York State
One of the nation's biggest credit-rating firms said the federal government's attempt to claw back nearly $1.3 billion in Medicaid payments from New York is a negative development for the state. In its report published Monday, Moody's Investors Service said a repayment "would result in an unwelcome drain on the state's cash balances," and future repayments would "pinch the state's liquidity." The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told New York officials in late July that it would seek money paid out in 2010 that was used to care for about 1,300 developmentally disabled people in nine state facilities (Kravitz, 8/5). 

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