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Oregon discloses proposed '19 ACA rates; PE-backed MGA Orchid exploring sale

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Oregon discloses proposed '19 ACA rates; PE-backed MGA Orchid exploring sale

Oregon has released data on the 2019 rate proposals submitted by health insurers for individual and small group health insurance plans to be sold on the state's Affordable Care Act healthcare exchange. In the individual market, seven companies have submitted rate change requests that range from a decrease of 9.6% to an increase of 16.3%. Meanwhile, rate change requests in the small group market range from a decrease of 4% to an increase of 9.4%. Preliminary decisions on the requests are expected to be announced June 29, and final decisions are expected July 19, KTVZ.COM reported.

Orchid Underwriters Agency LLC, the U.S. coastal wind-focused managing general agency backed by private equity firm Gryphon Investors, has engaged Sandler O'Neill as an adviser in connection with a potential sale of the company, The Insurance Insider reported. The Vero Beach, Fla.-based company has already started talking to possible buyers, according to the report.

In more deal news, AssuredPartners Inc. acquired Peoples Insurance Agency, a Waverly, Iowa-based family owned insurance agency.

NFP Corp. said it acquired 1st Community Insurance Services Inc., effective April 1. 1st Community is a Palm Springs, Calif.-based provider of commercial and personal lines insurance.

Evans Bancorp Inc.'s insurance subsidiary The Evans Agency LLC is acquiring Wellsville, N.Y.-based insurance agency Richardson & Stout Insurance.

An independent federal study done by Paul Spitalnic, Medicare's chief actuary, suggests that expanding access to short-term health insurance plans, as proposed by President Donald Trump's administration, may cost the federal government more money than the administration has estimated, The New York Times has reported. The proposed rule could increase federal spending by $1.2 billion next year and by a total of $38.7 billion over 10 years, according to Spitalnic, as compared to the government's estimates of annual expenses of $96 million to $168 million.

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association is set to procure a new $1.4 billion layer of reinsurance and catastrophe bonds in 2018, as it expects losses from Hurricane Harvey to rise to $1.61 billion from the previously projected $1.45 billion, Artemis reported. The new layer will increase the size of TWIA's 2018 reinsurance program to $2.6 billion, up 24% from 2017.

French reinsurer Scor SE is sponsoring a $300 million catastrophe bond, Atlas Capital UK 2018 PLC (Series 2018 ISPV 1), which will provide multi-peril retrocessional reinsurance protection to the company against U.S. named storm, U.S. and Canada earthquake and European windstorm risks, Artemis reported.

Quarterly results: Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Massachusetts Inc. reported a combined after-tax first-quarter net income of $57.5 million and revenue of $2.0 billion, which includes the impact of two items related to the ACA insurer fee and federal tax reform. As a result of the ACA fee, the company reported an operating loss of $97.2 million.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Inc. reported a net gain of $100,000 and an operating loss of $9.4 million on revenue of $790.8 million for the first quarter.

Unico American Corp. posted a first-quarter net loss of $2.2 million, or 42 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $2.1 million, or 40 cents per share, in the prior-year quarter.

James River Group Holdings Ltd. closed an underwritten secondary public offering of its 3,297,238 common shares.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. slashed its stake in Phillips 66 during the first quarter, one of the insurance conglomerate's largest moves during the period, according to its latest ownership filing.

The number of new individual long-term care policies issued in 2017 plunged as several companies that once ranked among the leading sellers of the product have either exited the business or struggled against headwinds in their ongoing marketing initiatives, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence report.

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. is seeking rate increases averaging about 77% per customer on its long-term care insurance policies, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a company spokeswoman. The proposed hikes would apply to about 54,000 of the insurer's 72,000 LTC policyholders.

Featured news

Pfizer's copy of J&J, Amgen's anemia drug approved; Novartis top lawyer to exit: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer's Retacrit, a biosimilar of Johnson & Johnson's Procrit and Amgen's Epogen, to treat anemia; and Felix Ehrat, group general counsel at Swiss drugmaker Novartis, is stepping down.

Financial news in other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Société Générale eyes China securities JV; Indian bank removes CEO amid scandal

Europe: Ageas, BayernLB post Q1 results; CYBG says loss won't affect Virgin Money plans

Middle East & Africa: US sanctions Iran central bank head; Abraaj moves to reassure creditors

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 0.13% to 31,110.20, and the Nikkei 225 was down 0.44% to 22,717.23.

In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.13% to 7,732.64, and the Euronext 100 had fallen 0.09% to 1,070.51.

On the macro front

The MBA mortgage applications report, the Housing Starts report, the Industrial Production report, the Atlanta Fed's business inflation expectations survey and the EIA petroleum status report are due out today.

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