Ask random people on the street one simple question, “Is Obamacare working?” and you’ll likely get mixed replies. One thing is for sure though, the nation’s largest healthcare provider, United Healthcare, may stop offering individual coverage in 2016 and is going to halt its marketing efforts in that market, effective immediately.
What that means is, United doesn’t plan to be competing in that market in 2017 – because they are losing money.
With three years on the current fiscal model, it’s unlikely there will be significant change in the coming year and that means things will look bad for Democrats in the 2016 election. Open enrollment is supposed to begin in October 2016, but with elections close to that timeframe HHS may very well delay it which will leave many voters with expired coverage, forcing them to choose another plan (from a much more expensive and smaller list of options).
Is Obamacare Working?
Phillip Klein commented on the price spike:
The year 2017 is significant for insurers, because that’s the year when several programs designed to mitigate risk for insurers through federal backstops go away. The hope was that those programs would act as training wheels for Obamacare in its first few years of implementation, but after that, the insurers were supposed to be able to thrive on their own. UnitedHealth’s statement suggests otherwise.
If UnitedHealth and other insurers decide to exit, remaining insurers will be forced to take on even more high-risk enrollees, prompting them to either raise rates further or exit themselves. That in turn would deprive individuals of choices and remove competition, a key purpose of the exchanges.
Mr. Klein, who was conferenced in on a United Health conference call this morning, stated that United forecast, in a “last minute before the toll” moment, a loss of over $200 MILLION on Obamacare in 2016. Without ‘corporate welfare’ there’s simply no way a company like United can function in a setting like this.
The words “affordable” and “care” are not panning out for Obamacare. Premiums have gone up, as have deductibles. Instead of “affordable healthcare” Americans are paying premium prices for catastrophic ONLY coverage. Subsidies don’t point out the fact that consumers have to pay the premiums PLUS thousands of dollars out-of-pocket before insurance even kicks in.