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Alaska insurer files for 21.6% rate cut; Humana reports Q2 results

In the news

Health insurers selling Affordable Care Act plans in California asked for premium hikes of 12.5% for 2018.

Anthem Inc. is withdrawing from 16 out of 19 pricing regions for California's ACA market due to uncertainty regarding cost-sharing reductions.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Inc. is asking for an average rate hike of 7.2% for 2018, according to The Arizona Republic. The insurer said the increase would be flat if subsidies are not cut.

Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska filed for a 21.6% rate decrease in the state for 2018 individual plans, the Alaska Journal of Commerce noted.

Large insurers in West Virginia, South Carolina, Iowa and Wyoming want to increase premiums by around 30% or more, reported The Wall Street Journal, citing preliminary rate filings published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Molina Healthcare Inc. is planning to close the Midwest Health Center in Dearborn, Mich., as part of a national pullout from primary care, Crain's Detroit Business reported.

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit allowed Democratic state attorneys general to defend government payments to insurers under the Affordable Care Act, Reuters reported.

The Senate Republicans' failure to pass a bill to repeal and replace the ACA was not the fault of the Democrats, the chamber's chief admitted.

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Humana Inc. reported second-quarter GAAP consolidated pretax income of $1.04 billion, compared to $636 million in the year-ago quarter.

United Fire Group Inc. also reported quarterly results.

Great-West Lifeco Inc., Prudential Financial Inc., American International Group Inc., Lincoln National Corp., MetLife Inc., American Equity Investment Life Holding Co., Molina Healthcare, Cincinnati Financial Corp., Hanover Insurance Group Inc., Fidelity & Guaranty Life, HCI Group, Inc., Assured Guaranty Ltd., Third Point Reinsurance Ltd. and Health Insurance Innovations Inc. are also expected to report earnings today.

Click here to read a summary of earnings reported Aug. 1 by select insurance companies covered by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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Alleghany Corp. entered into a five-year credit agreement for an unsecured revolving credit facility of up to $300 million, maturing July 31, 2022, unless it is terminated earlier.

Featured news

US Senate revs up FDA user fee bill; Daiichi Sankyo in $300M settlement: The Senate aims to vote on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration user fee reauthorization bill before its summer recess; and Daiichi Sankyo agreed to settle some 2,300 U.S. cases against its blood pressure drugs.

Financial news in other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: China bars 40 banks from interbank biz; HNA's overseas deals hit roadblock

Europe: SocGen, ING post Q2 results; Deutsche Bank sees job exodus from UK

Middle East & Africa: United Gulf Bank eyes biz split; High Court extends Imperial Bank receivership

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng climbed 0.24% to 27,607.38, while the Nikkei 225 rose 0.47% to 20,080.04.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 0.31% to 7,401.32 and the Euronext 100 dropped 0.11% to 999.49.

On the macro front

The MBA mortgage applications, ADP employment report, Gallup U.S. job creation index and EIA petroleum status report are due out today.