The Hartford Courant says the health care industry is vexed over a drawn-out shift in Medicare policy, translating into insurance companies being paid less per person to manage federally backed Medicare Advantage coverage. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed its most recent reductions in February, 2014, affecting plans insurers will offer to prospective customers in the fall of 2015. Less government money for insurance companies actually squeezes their profits. As a result, Cigna is cutting 950 employees globally, 70 of whom are located in Connecticut.
Insurers can attempt to preserve their bottom lines in several ways: narrowing physician networks, changing plan benefits, or increasing out of pocket costs for policyholders.