Surprise: United Health Care To Cut Most Participation In Obamacare

by William Teach | April 20, 2016 8:07 am

As it stands, there are only a handful of established health insurance companies that participate in Obamacare to start with. The co-ops are flatlining, and the tiny players created by Ocare are likewise having issues. Other big companies have dropped out, are considering dropping out, or are looking to reduce their participation.

(Fox News[1]) The nation’s largest health insurer, fearing massive financial losses, announced Tuesday that it plans to pull back from ObamaCare in a big way and cut its participation in the program’s insurance exchanges to just a handful of states next year – in the latest sign of instability in the marketplace under the law.

UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley said the company expects losses from its exchange business to total more than $1 billion for this year and last.

Despite the company expanding to nearly three dozen state exchanges for this year, Hemsley said the company cannot continue to broadly serve the market created by the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion due partly to the higher risk that comes with its customers.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. said it now expects to lose $650 million this year on its exchange business, up from its previous projection for $525 million. The insurer lost $475 million in 2015, a spokesman said.

Don’t feel too bad for United for the losses, as they were big supporters of the terrible law going back to pre-passage. Feel bad for the people who want affordable health insurance. Of course, so many of them cannot actually use the insurance for a lot of things, since they cannot afford to use it, due to the deductibles, along with the restricted networks.

A big part of the problem is the number of high-risk enrollees. The Exchanges are not seeing the number of healthy signups they need. UHC has already left some Exchanges. Humana bolted. Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield have made noises about leaving the “Marketplace”.

This is all unsustainable as established, just like people said before passage. It still polls negatively. The next step, of course, is for liberals to push for single payer, proclaiming that if the insurance companies cannot “do their job”, then the federal government should take over.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[2]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[3].

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