Health insurer Humana Inc. trimmed its third-quarter lobbying spending by 43 percent compared to last year, as it focused only on a handful of bills pending in Congress.
The Louisville, Ky., company spent $160,000 in July through September, compared with $281,000 in the same period in 2010. This year's third-quarter spending also was 11 percent below the $180,000 Humana spent in the second quarter.
Humana is the fifth-largest health insurer based on enrollment. It sells commercial health insurance and Medicare Advantage plans, which are private versions of the government's Medicare program for the elderly and disabled. It also administers Medicaid coverage and provides coverage through the military's Tricare program.
Humana lobbied in the third quarter to repeal an annual fee on health insurance providers enacted by the 2010 federal health insurance overhaul, which aims eventually to ensure coverage for millions of uninsured people. Even though the changes promise new business for insurers, companies are concerned about related fees and restrictions.
The insurer also lobbied on the Small Business Health Relief Act of 2011, the Medicare Data Access for Transparency and Accountability Act, and the Medicare Beneficiary Preservation of Choice Act of 2011 in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
Besides Congress and the White House, Humana also lobbied the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.