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UNITEDHEALTH TO TRIM ACA EXCHANGES TO ‘HANDFUL’ OF STATES

obamacare_theridgewoodblog

BY TOM MURPHY
AP BUSINESS WRITER

UnitedHealth, the nation’s biggest health insurer, will cut its participation in public health insurance exchanges to only a handful of states next year after expanding to nearly three dozen for this year.

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

The state-based exchanges are a key element behind the Affordable Care Act’s push to expand insurance coverage. But insurers have struggled with higher than expected claims from that business.

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.

https://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_UNITEDHEALTH_ACA_EXCHANGES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-04-19-09-14-34

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Economics 101 : UnitedHealth CEO regrets entering ObamaCare

obamacare_theridgewood blog

By Sarah Ferris – 12/01/15 11:05 AM EST

The CEO of UnitedHealthCare on Tuesday said he regretted the decision to enter the ObamaCare marketplace last year, which the company says has resulted in millions of dollars in losses.

“It was for us a bad decision,” UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley said at an investor’s meeting in New York, according to Bloomberg Business.

UnitedHealth, the country’s largest insurer, announced last month that it would no longer advertise its ObamaCare plans over the next year and may pull out completely in 2016 — a move that sent shockwaves across the healthcare sector.

Hemsley’s remarks double down on his earlier warning that the ObamaCare exchanges remain weaker than expected after two years and that it will take far longer for insurers to profit from the millions of new enrollees.

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/261617-unitedhealth-ceo-regrets-entering-obamacare-marketplace