May 9, 2017

Tennessee Blues will fill state's ACA coverage hole

Andrew Harnik / AP

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee will sell health plans on the Affordable Care Act exchange next year in the 16 counties near Knoxville that were left without an insurer after Humana bailed, Sarah Kliff at Vox reports. But those plans could be expensive. J.D. Hickey, CEO of the Tennessee Blues, told the state insurance commissioner that his team will price in the risks surrounding the cost-sharing subsidies, individual mandate and health insurance tax.

However, Hickey mentioned that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee's financial performance has improved so far in 2017 after shouldering major losses in the first few years of the ACA exchanges. Financial documents obtained by Axios show the company produced a small overall profit in 2016, although it still had a $14.7 million gross loss on its individual-market plans.

The bottom line: This is an important development and again shows why the Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans are vital to the ACA individual marketplaces. But it also shows that the unclear signals from the Trump administration about whether it will pay insurers' subsidies, and whether it will enforce the individual mandate, are already forcing insurers to charge more for coverage.

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Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. cities crack down on protesters

Demonstrators gather at Lafayette Park across from the White House to protest the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between police and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the U.S. Saturday.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

Trump to invite Russia and other non-member G7 countries to summit

President Trump at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Saul Martinez/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Saturday evening he would postpone the G7 summit to September and expand the meeting to more nations that are not members of the Group of 7.

Details: Trump said he would invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to the summit, according to a pool report. "I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries," he said.