October 18, 2017

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, “DESPITE?” UnitedHealth Revenue Grows Despite ACA Exit.

The latest quarterly results from the nation’s largest health insurer come as the market is facing policy changes related to the ACA. President Donald Trump last week signed an executive order seeking to provide lower-cost plans in the individual insurance market, and he has said his administration will end payments to insurers that offset subsidies to low-income consumers.

Guiding the company through the shifting landscape is David Wichmann, the former UnitedHealth president who took the reins as chief executive Sept. 1. Former CEO Stephen Hemsley now serves as executive chairman.

During a call with analysts, Mr. Wichmann said UnitedHealth has “a great deal of experience in the areas covered” in the president’s executive order, which are short-term health policies, association plans and health-reimbursement arrangements. UnitedHealth said it has around 300,000 people currently enrolled in association plans and the “performance is strong.” The insurer also said it was seeing an “incredible increase in the growth” of short-term plans before the Obama administration capped their duration at three months, and the company would be “excited” to see the Trump administration expand the length again, as the executive order suggested.

Counting on illegal subsidies to sell people plans they don’t want was never a good business model, and UnitedHealth and others were right to exit the ObamaCare faux-marketplaces.

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