Consumer Catch-up: Public option insurance, interest rates rising, Weight Watchers name change

Michael Finney Image
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
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State lawmakers are considering a public option for health insurance, plus Weight Watchers is making a big change to its brand name.

State considering public option insurance

Lawmakers in California are considering whether to offer "public option" health insurance coverage.

Public option coverage is a publicly-insured plan. Proponents say it would be direct competition with private insurers.

They argue it could drive down premiums and other costs.

State officials are looking into the feasibility of offering such a plan.

Interest rates may rise this week

Interest rates may rise this week, for the third time this year. The Federal Reserve seems poised to raise its short-term interest rates by a quarter point.

The raise would be in an effort to keep inflation in check. The Fed has its regularly-scheduled meeting Tuesday and Wednesday.

Many analysts expect the economy to weaken next year, in part because of trade conflicts between the U.S. and other countries.

If the economy slows down, it would likely lead to a slowdown in rate increases.

Weight Watchers changes name

Weight Watchers is making big changes to its brand name - moving away from a focus as a weight loss company.

The company is changing its name to WW, which it says focuses on overall health and wellness.

Officials also announced new programs, including one called Wellness Wins.

In that program, users will be rewarded for small changes that lead to healthier habits.

Members can also use Amazon's Alexa or the Google Assistant to track foods and get daily progress updates.

Along with the name change, WW will have a new logo and color palette.

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