Heath coverage giant UnitedHealthcare dropped a bombshell yesterday:
At a shareholder meeting Thursday, UnitedHealthcare cast doubt on its ability to carry plans on the healthcare law’s exchanges beyond 2016, offering a more grim financial outlook than it had previously expected.
“In recent weeks, growth expectations for individual exchange participation have tempered industrywide,” said Stephen Hemsley, the company’s CEO.
“Co-operatives have failed, and market data has signaled higher risks and more difficulties while our own claims experience has deteriorated, so we are taking this proactive step,” he said.
The company’s statement said it will be “evaluating the viability of the insurance exchange product segment and will determine during the first half of 2016 to what extent it can continue to serve the public exchange markets in 2017.”
It also projected that its fourth-quarter revenue will be $425 million less than expected — amounting to 26 cents in earnings per share.
The company also announced it has “pulled back” on marketing plans for 2016.
UnitedHealthcare is discovering what ♡bamaCare!!! critics (like yours truly) have said all along: That the exchanges are actuarily unsound. I know ♡bamaCare!!! is supposed to be a dead issue politically, but UHC’s decision will come right in time for summer campaigning, along with thousands and thousands of cancellation notices.
Whoever the GOP candidate turns out to be, if they can’t make hay of that then they won’t deserve to win.
FULL DISCLOSURE: My family is insured by UnitedHealthcare, but not through an ♡bamaCare!!! exchange.