UnitedHealth is pulling out of the individual health insurance market in California thanks to Obamacare. Expect to see this happen in other states as well.
The nation’s largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group Inc., is leaving California’s individual health insurance market, the second major company to exit in advance of major changes under the Affordable Care Act.
UnitedHealth said it had notified state regulators that it would leave the state’s individual market at year-end and force about 8,000 customers to find new coverage. Last month, Aetna Inc., the nation’s third-largest health insurer, made a similar move affecting about 50,000 existing policyholders.
Both companies will keep a major presence in California, focusing instead on large and small employers.
The moves illustrate how different companies are responding to a major overhaul of the health insurance market for millions of consumers. Starting Jan. 1, the federal healthcare law forces insurers to accept all individual applicants regardless of their medical history and provide a comprehensive set of benefits with limits on patients’ out-of-pocket spending.
Healthcare experts said some national insurers aren’t interested in playing by those new rules in states where their presence in the individual market is relatively small and more profits can be made by tending to the employer market. (Read More)
Wasn’t the whole point of health care reform supposed to be about making it easier for individuals without employer coverage to purchase health care? Instead we get employers laying people off or slashing hours, and the cost of policies skyrocketing and insurers getting out of the market altogether. What an epic failure.