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From Bloomberg: The U.S.’s biggest health insurer is considering pulling out of Obamacare, a month after saying it would expand its presence in the program.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. is scaling back marketing efforts for plans it’s selling this year under the Affordable Care Act, and may quit the business entirely in 2017 because it has proven to be more costly than expected. It’s an abrupt shift from October, when the health insurer said it was planning to sell coverage in 11 new markets next year, bringing its total to 34. The company also cut its 2015 earnings forecast.
UnitedHealth said it suspended marketing its individual exchange plans and is cutting or eliminating commissions for brokers who sell the coverage.
UnitedHealth covers fewer than 550,000 people on the Obamacare exchanges. About 9.9 million people had insurance through the U.S.- and state-run insurance markets as of June 30.
“The company is evaluating the viability of the insurance exchange product and will determine during the first half of 2016 to what extent it can continue to serve the public exchange markets in 2017,” UnitedHealth said in a statement Thursday announcing the changes.
The company’s shares fell 5.6 percent to $110.66 at 9:36 a.m. in New York. Anthem Inc. and Aetna Inc., the two biggest health insurers after UnitedHealth, also declined, as did hospital stocks including HCA Holdings Inc. and Community Health Systems Inc.
At the end of each year, if you had an unfortunate year, they didn’t even come close to spending half your premiums on paying for healthcare expenses. This doesn’t even take into account that we pay nearly twice as mush a any industrialized country and rank near the bottom on almost every aspect.
I guess UnitedHeathCare is unhappy with the required 80% payout of healthcare expenses.
Cathy Dawson, RAC, MPH
the healthy pay for the care provided to everyone; &
profit evolves from the difference in premiums vs payments
Insurance is inherently unfair; a gamble; and dependent on the buy-in of the people who likely do not need it.
In a profit seeking company, it will always be rigged to favor of smaller payouts and higher premiums.
Period. The “label” (ACA, NHS, Medicare, Aetna, what have you) is irrelevant.
John English, HCCP
Christine Cowan, RN
Thomas D. Crump
Abdelrahim alsayed ibrahim Khalil
ACA is very controversial here and there is a growing gulf between two philosophical sides (conservatives vs. socialists). Societies based on the principals of individual freedom are complex and messy but they do work if the leadership does not try to ram things down the throats of the citizens. That usually causes the great divide we see happening today. ACA was rammed down the country’s throat (by the party in power) and a good portion of the population has resisted it. This is not good governance.
BTW, I love the article… It is full of irony. The publication is called the “Independent”… really?. A UK paper saying UK is number 1, imagine that, no bias there. I just have to laugh but the article is interesting.
The repubs don’t need to fight ACA any longer. Just ignore it and it WILL go away.
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