Health insurance premiums are likely to increase just before the November elections, since Congress has excluded funds aimed at stabilizing the Affordable Care Act's individual health insurance market from the $1.3 trillion spending bill, The Wall Street Journal reported. Some lawmakers could push for separate legislation to help stabilize the ACA marketplaces, but it is very unlikely that Congress will pass such a measure in 2018, according to the report. The ACA, which significantly increased the number of Americans with healthcare coverage, marked its eighth birthday on March 23.
Safepoint Insurance Co.-sponsored Manatee Re II Ltd. series 2018-1 catastrophe bond has upsized by 21% to $200 million from the initial size of $165 million, Artemis reported. The coupon price guidance was fixed at 4.25% for the Class A tranche of notes and at 7.75% for the class B tranche.
American International Group Inc. is among the companies showing an interest in Commonwealth Bank of Australia's general insurance business, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk blog reported.
The Mississippi House refused to pass a budget bill to fund the state's Division of Medicaid in a bid to compel the Senate leadership to negotiate on another bill, referred to as a Medicaid technical amendments bill, the Daily Journal reported. The disagreement is related to whether the Mississippi Hospital Association, which lost in the bid process conducted by the division, should be awarded a contract to operate a managed care company for Medicaid recipients.
Two state audits for Illinois have found that Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has not been able to recoup about $76 million in overpayments made to private Medicaid insurers, The Associated Press reported.
A settlement between Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and the State Rating Bureau and the Workers' Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau will lower the state's workers' comp rates by an average 12.9%. The insurance industry had earlier sought an 11.1% cut in comp rates, but Healey's office intervened in an administrative rate proceeding before the state's insurance division that resulted in the additional rate relief. Massachusetts' employers will save $150 million under the settlement.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is reconsidering its draft proposal on annuity sales standards in light of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit decision vacating the Department of Labor's Conflict of Interest Rule.
Roche scores in cancer trial; Americans say drugmakers more influential than NRA: Roche's Tecentriq, when taken with Avastin and chemotherapy, helped certain lung cancer patients live longer in a late-stage trial; In a new poll, 72% of responders said drug manufacturers held the most sway over lawmakers.
Financial news in other parts of the world
Asia-Pacific: China adds role at central bank; Mongolia cuts rates; CBA insurer lures buyers
Europe: Aberdeen Standard sues Provident Financial; BoE to update Brexit approach
Middle East & Africa: Moody's keeps South Africa above junk; Capitec, Sanlam plan bancassurance JV
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.79% to 30,548.77. The Nikkei 225 added 0.72% to 20,766.10.
In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.45% to 6,952.81, and the Euronext 100 rose 0.27% to 999.02.
On the macro front
Chicago Fed National Activity Index and the Dallas Fed manufacturing survery are due out today.
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