Top healthcare payer headlines of 2014

Year-in-Review: ACA, Medicaid expansion among the biggest stories

By Brian Eastwood

It's been a busy and interesting year for the health insurance industry.

The Affordable Care Act has been front and center for most of 2014. Earlier in the year, the ACA's much-maligned federal insurance exchange,, created headlines (and headaches). At the end, speculation mounted over a single phrase in the ACA that could undo the act in about three dozen states and leave millions of Americans without the subsidies that make their insurance affordable.

Healthcare reform sparked additional initiatives; most saw modest success. Private insurance exchanges and accountable care organizations tried to plow ahead. Medicaid expansion efforts continued, also with mixed success--and in some unexpected places. Insurers did their best to put consumers first, as the ACA wants the whole healthcare industry to do, whether by embracing technology or by introducing less expensive narrow networks.

These trends represent the top stories for the health insurance industry. In this special report, FierceHealthPayer examines why each topic made headlines in 2014 and will continue to matter to payers in 2015 and beyond.