UnitedHealthcare is betting that the health insurance exchanges are sustainable for the long-term, Kaiser Health News reported in July in a post titled Biggest Insurer Drops Caution, Embraces Obamacare.
What’s behind this decision?
- The marketplaces look viable, even without some of the government safeguards like risk-sharing and reinsurance support that will end after the first few years.
- The pricing is clearer. With six months of claims experience from millions of people, UnitedHealthcare believes they can accurately rate their products.
- The regulations are in place. Many of the pending lawsuits have been decided.
- Consumer behavior is more certain. Even with all of the delays and challenges during the initial implementation of the federal exchange, millions of transactions have been completed and UnitedHealthcare believes “there’ll be some shopping, even though people don’t have to shop,” according to Jeff Alter, head of UnitedHealthcare’s employer and individual insurance division. “The natural consumer play of an exchange is going to cause a shopping experience.”
Does UnitedHealthcare’s entry change anything about your exchange strategy? Is this an attractive market for starting or expanding an insurance company?