Health Estimates
Benefit Advisors


Health Estimates Newswire

Nov. 29, 2018: First private health insurance chatbot has 70% success rate.


First private health insurance chatbot has 70 percent success rate CMO
nib reports one year on, its chatbot, nibby, has handled more than 21,500 member interactions, with a 70 percent success rate, saving 535 hours of consultant handling time. It has been so successful, nibby has been expanded across group operations. A first of its kind for private health insurance in Australia, nibby launched in December 2017. The chatbot relieves pressure on nib’s frontline employees by performing tasks like sorting calls, responding with information relevant to a member’s query and connecting them quickly with a live chat consultant, if needed.

Small and medium-sized health plans represent 83 percent of market Healthcare Finance
Small and medium-sized health plans that cover fewer than 500,000 lives represent 83 percent of all coverage in the United States, according to an Edifecs study. Small and medium businesses makeup 409 of the country's 493 health insurance plans.

Many more Californians likely to be without health insurance in next 5 years San Fransisco Chronicle
Up to 800,000 more Californians are likely to be without health coverage in 2023, researchers estimate — reversing a years-long trend of falling uninsured rates in the state following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The number of uninsured Californians is projected to increase to 4.4 million in 2023 unless state officials enact policies to expand coverage, according to a report released by the UC Berkeley Labor Center and UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. That would represent a jump from 10.4 percent of the population being uninsured to 12.9 percent in 2023.

Pre-pregnancy health coverage climbs after Medicaid expansion

-The number of low-income women enrolled in Medicaid before becoming pregnant rose substantially in states that expanded Medicaid eligibility through the Affordable Care Act, according to researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. The results are published online in the journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. "This study suggests that the ACA Medicaid expansion was associated with improved continuity of Medicaid coverage from the preconception to prenatal period," said Jamie Daw, PhD, assistant professor of Health Policy and Management at the Columbia Mailman School.

Illinois lawmakers override veto of short-term health insurance bill Chicago Tribune
Illinois consumers will only be able to use controversial, short-term health insurance plans for about six months at a time now that the state legislature has voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill that sets that limit. Dozens of Illinois consumer advocacy groups had supported the original bill, which took aim at a recent Trump administration change to the rules surrounding short-term plans. Such plans are generally cheaper than traditional health insurance but cover fewer services.

Obesity treatment in state insurance plans improving, gap still exists Healio
Medicaid and state employee health insurance programs are improving their coverage for adult obesity, but a treatment gap still exists, according to findings published in Obesity. The gap refers to a growing acceptance of treatments to address mild and severe obesity, but not moderate cases, which may be more effectively treated with drug therapies. “Although initiatives aimed at primary prevention of obesity should always be considered as a first line of defense, nutritional counseling, pharmacotherapy and bariatric surgery are all effective strategies that support clinically significant weight loss (5% reduction in body weight) for persons with established obesity.

CVS health chooses a different strategy in Walgreens drug store war Investor Place
Most investors see little difference between CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance in the health care market. That is, two pharmacy operators with strong retail brick-and-mortar presence battling it out across the country. Even the charts for CVS stock and WBA shares share similar patterns. But don’t be fooled; these are increasingly two very different companies, with two very different strategies for succeeding in the hyper-competitive U.S. health marketplace. CVS Health is buying markets while Walgreens is trying to win customers through partnerships.

Jeff Sopko