UnitedHealth may exit the provision of ACA plans:
The nation’s largest health insurance provider, UnitedHealth Group, dealt a blow to the Affordable Care Act on Thursday when it warned it may stop offering coverage to individuals through public exchanges after taking a big hit to the bottom line from disappointing enrollment and the law’s unexpected effects.
The insurer’s withdrawal from the Obamacare exchanges would force some 540,000 Americans to find coverage from another provider.
UnitedHealth (UNH) downgraded its earnings forecast, bemoaning low growth projections for Obamacare enrollment and blaming the federal health care law for giving individuals too much flexibility to change plans.
People who purchase insurance through the public exchanges are typically heavy users of their plans, draining insurers’ profits, analysts say.
In a sharp reversal of its previously optimistic projections, UnitedHealth suspended marketing of its Obamacare exchange plans for 2016 — which the company has already committed to offer — to limit its exposure to additional losses.
“We see no data pointing to improvement” in the financial performance of public-exchange plans, UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley said on a conference call, though he added that “we remain hopeful” the market will recover.
The move comes amid indications that insurers are absorbing steeper costs than they expected from plans offered to individuals through the public exchanges, which are purchased online.
The average premium for medium-benefit plans offered to 40-year-old non-smokers is set to rise 10.1% in 2016, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
…Even though UnitedHealth wasn’t a major player yet on the ACA exchanges, the fact that it priced plans conservatively and entered cautiously made its statements more significant, said Katherine Hempstead, who heads the insurance coverage team at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
“If they can’t make money on the exchanges, it seems it would be hard for anyone,” Hempstead said.
But that is not all the news. There is also:
and my own Obamacare not as egalitarian as it appears
All five are from the NYT, the first three being from the last two or three days, the other two from last week. They are not articles from The Weekly Standard…
To put it bluntly, I don’t think the mandate part of the bill is working. These are mostly problems which decay and get worse, not problems which self-correct.