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The country's largest health insurance company is almost entirely quitting Obamacare

Apr 19th 2016 12:24PM
The country's largest healthcare company is getting out of the Obamacare business.

United Healthcare, which currently covers the most Americans in the US (pending the proposed Anthem-Cigna merger), said in its quarterly earnings Tuesday that it is removing its offerings from almost all Affordable Care Act exchanges by 2017.

"The smaller overall market size and shorter-term higher risk profile within this market segment continue to suggest we cannot broadly serve it on an effective and sustained basis," said CEO Stephen Hemsley in the company's quarterly earnings conference call.

"Next year we will remain in only a handful of states, and we will not carry financial exposure from exchanges into 2017. We continue to remain an advocate for more stable and sustainable approaches to serving this market and those who rely on it for their care."

The company had previously said that it was reviewing offering plans through the ACA exchanges, but this is confirmation that the company will remove nearly all of its products come 2017 to remove any financial impact.

The exchanges are state-by-state marketplaces that allow Americans to compare and sign up for the now-mandated health insurance coverage.

Hemsley said that the cost of offering coverage was too high, as those who gained insurance through the exchange were less healthy and thus the company paid more claims out.

"So as we look at it, the early indications on the health status of the members appears to be a little bit worse," said UnitedHealthcare CFO Daniel Schumacher.

In total, the company expects to lose $650 million on people covered through the exchanges in 2016 after losing $475 million in 2015, according to Schumacher.

The company has also noted that younger people, who are healthier and on net pay into the system to help cover older, less healthy members are not signing up through the exchanges.This is hurting revenue and making it less attractive to the healthcare companies.

According to Hemsley, the company covers 795,000 people through the exchanges as of the end of the March 2016 and at the end if the year he expects to cover 650,000.


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Well, my insurance went up to $326.54 last year.


I got my bill in the mail today and it is now $560.54 a month. Thanks a lot Obama Don't Care. A $234.00 a month increase! Really? I go to the doctor about once a year, get a yearly mammogram and take meds. That's it. I'd have to pay a stiff penalty/tax if I don't pay it. Maybe they are trying to get people to take early social security, to pay their insurance bill, so they won't have to pay out the full amount.


Makes it pretty hard to budget when everything keeps going up and up.

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  • 1 month later...

Here's how much the price of Obamacare changed this year for every state in the US

May 30th 2016 6:40AM


Linda J. Blumberg, John Holahan, and Erik Wengle at the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute, decided to find out just how much prices were increasing and why.


First off, the researchers said that using a national aggregate in order to gain an understanding of how and why premium prices are increasing doesn't make much sense due to the variance of the exchanges where the insurance plans are offered.


"We conclude that a national average rate of premium increase is a fairly meaningless statistic since different markets are having very different experiences," said the report.


"The focus of attention should be on understanding the wide variability by identifying the characteristics of markets that have experienced high premiums or high growth in premiums and of markets with lower premiums or lower growth in premiums."


Only five states saw a decrease in premium cost this year, while 12 states had increases of more than 20%, on average. The heavily impacted states are predominately in the Midwest, but almost every region got hit with price jumps.


The variance is startling. The largest increase came from Alaska, which saw premium prices surge 40.2% this year, while on the other end, Indiana's prices decreased by 12.1%.


In all, about 48% of the population lives in areas where prices decreased or increased by less than 5%. 26.3% of the US population lives in areas that had an increase of more than 15%.


The researchers found that there are a variety of reasons for the discrepancy in prices, but the biggest difference-maker was competition.


"However, the most important factors associated with lowest-cost silver plan premiums and premium increases are those defining the contours of competition in the market," the report concluded. "Rating areas with more competitors had significantly lower premiums and lower rates of increase than those that did not."


The paper also found that there was one player that had more of an effect on prices than any other provider.


"Those rating areas with a Medicaid insurer competing in the marketplace also have lower premiums and lower rates of increase than those regions without a Medicaid insurer competing," said Blumberg, Holahan, and Wengle.


This is an issue as insurance companies evaluate the profitability of the state exchanges. With political pushback against expanding Medicaid considerable, private insurers are going to have to carry most of the load and provide competitions.


The nation's largest insurer, United Healthcare, has already dropped out, leaving more (though not significantly more) Americans with one or two choices. If other insurers were to take a similar tact, though unlikely, it could cause an even further increase in prices.




Edited by Jeepers
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Thanks a lot Obama Don't Care. <snip>



Makes it pretty hard to budget when everything keeps going up and up.

:grinning-smiley-044: I like that, "Obama Don't Care".


Yup, ours went up almost $300 a month this year. That's $300 dollars I used to use to buy food and supplies.

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