Uh, oh: UnitedHealth to leave California’s individual insurance market

posted at 8:21 pm on July 2, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

As Ed reminded us on Monday, ObamaCare is going to mean higher health insurance premiums for the many Americans who will be required to take on pricier, more comprehensive plans that they don’t necessarily want or need in order to subsidize the higher-risk insurance pools that the health-care overhaul is forcing upon the populace by design. In California, the first state that eagerly jumped on the ObamaCare bandwagon, state officials have been mighty disgruntled at insurers  that have been considering raising their health-insurance rates above what the state believes to be fair and reasonable prices.

It turns out, however, that the entire regulatory-administrative kit and kaboodle is beginning to cost at least a few major insurers more trouble than it’s worth: Earlier this year, UnitedHealth, Aetna, and Cigna all announced they will not be participating in California’s state exchange for individuals; and in June, Aetna announced that they were opting out of the individual insurance market altogether and instead focusing their business energies on providing insurance plans through large and small employers. Now, UnitedHealth is following suit, via the LA Times:

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. …

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.

Oh, goodness — the Obama administration has been making the completion of the more than thirty federally-run individual insurance exchanges their top priority before the intended deadline, at the expense of some of the law’s other promises. Insurers in the law’s most enthusiastic state are already losing interest in being a part of it, and severely doubt that we’ve heard the last of it. Especially in light of the news earlier this evening that the employer mandate is getting delayed until 2015, they have definitely created a monster — and it just keeps getting scarier.


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An Ass masquerading as a President once found a Doctor’s white lab coat which had been left out in the sun to dry. He put it on and spoke to his countrymen. All bowed, both men and women, and he was a proud Ass that day. In his delight he lifted up his voice and brayed treatments and prescriptions randomly and incoherently and unleashed mindless and thirsty bureaucrats upon the land and then everyone knew him for what he really was.

Cheshire Cat on July 2, 2013 at 8:27 PM

Old News

I got a letter a month or so ago that said that they were leaving as of 12/31/13 ..

Gotta love those Democrats….

CrazyGene on July 2, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Roy also believes that the move will have two effects — it will delay the unemployment-raising effect of ObamaCare (to the Democrats’ political advantage, naturally) and will drive more people to join the state health care exchanges, because they’ll be forced to buy insurance (note the individual mandate is still in effect) while businesses aren’t required to provide it for another year. Whether this outcome is desired or not, it will have the effect of pushing more people off employer insurance and into a government system, which many suspect, with good reason, is the Trojan Horse plan behind this all from the beginning of it.

AOSHQ, citing Avik Roy.

No doubt employers will continue to drop coverage, turn full-time into part-time, keep part-time below 30 hours, and keep the number of employees below 50, if they can. This will result in more uninsured individuals.

However, the individual mandate is not be in postponed.

And the IRS will be enforcing that…

So individuals will be forced into the under-subscribed state and federal exchanges.

Wethal on July 2, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Capitalism is evil of course.

Obama will be in charge of your Grandma’s heart surgery (unless her chart has “tea party” or “constitution” in it)

faraway on July 2, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Last insurer left, turn out the lights.

Philly on July 2, 2013 at 8:28 PM

With any luck, Obama will be allowed to run for President indefinitely, then Obamacare will be pushed back forever.

xdwall on July 2, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Feet and tonsils rejoice!

/

Electrongod on July 2, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Greedy B@stiges…the only real option is for Califo…my bad, Kall-ee-phonia to adopt a Single-Payer Health Plan…THAT will produce the results, believe you me!

JFKY on July 2, 2013 at 8:33 PM

The UnitedHealth is not that big of a deal at 8000.(Individual)

The Aetna deal at 50,000 should have been screamed about across the country

Barred on July 2, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Feature, not a bug. Once all the major insurers are out, the democrats will push for single-payer to fill the gap (that they created).

Mohonri on July 2, 2013 at 8:37 PM

If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.

Barack Obama on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 in a town hall meeting

tommer74 on July 2, 2013 at 8:39 PM

Nancy Pelosi – “We have to pass it so that you can see what’s in it!”

GarandFan on July 2, 2013 at 8:41 PM

Nancy Pelosi – “We have to pass it so that you can see what’s in it!”

GarandFan on July 2, 2013 at 8:41 PM

More like..
We have to pass it to see who opts out..

Electrongod on July 2, 2013 at 8:43 PM

In other news…..Megyn Kelly is moving to Fox News Primetime.

SWEEEET!!

I hope it Sheppard Smith’s slot.

dddave on July 2, 2013 at 8:51 PM

I used to have a friend that worked there and that trained their claims adjusters and he trained them to deny every claim, first thing… He traveled all over the country training them how to lower claims.Then wait for them to come back and contest it. UHC is EVIL…

I can give you his name… if anyone wants to find him and interview him.

Kaptain Amerika on July 2, 2013 at 8:53 PM

dddave on July 2, 2013 at 8:51 PM

That sounds like a plan!!..:)

Dire Straits on July 2, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Bishop!

(I got tired of waiting for the QOTD.)

davidk on July 2, 2013 at 8:56 PM

So individuals will be forced into the under-subscribed state and federal exchanges.

Wethal on July 2, 2013 at 8:28 PM

As reminded of in the other thread, the penalties of which WILL NOT TAKE EFFECT/BE FELT UNTIL 2015, after the elections.

I truly hate these peeps.

pambi on July 2, 2013 at 8:57 PM

…there’s still business concerns in California?

KOOLAID2 on July 2, 2013 at 9:08 PM

you can keep your doctor and i’ll never set foot on the african continent. i promise.

renalin on July 2, 2013 at 9:14 PM

Break it, then have the media trumpet how broke it is, low information Yahoo News voters believe the one paragraph headline, then come in with the “solution” to fix the industry that’s “broken”……..repeat as necessary….

Progressive Big government method of operation #1

PappyD61 on July 2, 2013 at 9:16 PM

I can picture Obozo rubbing his hands and in his best Mr. Burns voice saying “exccccceeeeellent”………

Single payer baby!

KMC1 on July 2, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Komrades all is well. Great leader tell us so.

Yes many formerly socialist healthcare is asking for waiver because is so expensive. Glorious leader will provide. Future is GLORIOUS. we just wait for glorious new 300 page law comes to effect. All is will be well in new ad glorious run health care, 0bmama says so, so is true.

Lack of doktors and massive cut in medicare is feature not bug. all will be happy and good.

jukin3 on July 3, 2013 at 12:01 AM

“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”

-Some Guy Who Really Sucked At His Job

Theophile on July 3, 2013 at 1:56 AM

As Obama said:

If you believe my lies, you can keep my lies.”

profitsbeard on July 3, 2013 at 2:25 AM

Well with the capitalist private sector deserting the poor private citizens of America it’s is time for Captain Obama to fly down from the top of the tallest building to save the victims from the evil profit makers and declare single payer-via Washington to be the only salvation for mankind. The war on the heath of every America and planned parenthood must be stopped now–in time for the 2014 election.

Don L on July 3, 2013 at 5:53 AM

…there’s still business concerns in California?

KOOLAID2 on July 2, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Yup, the taco and faux ID stuff can’t be kept on the shelves. They’re getting so many anchor babies they’re thinking of transferring the problem to the marine and boating division

Don L on July 3, 2013 at 6:16 AM

As Obama said:

“If you believe my lies, you can keep my lies.”

profitsbeard on July 3, 2013 at 2:25 AM

I like that.

Axeman on July 3, 2013 at 9:32 AM

I used to have a friend that worked there and that trained their claims adjusters and he trained them to deny every claim, first thing… He traveled all over the country training them how to lower claims.Then wait for them to come back and contest it. UHC is EVIL…

I can give you his name… if anyone wants to find him and interview him.

Kaptain Amerika on July 2, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Biggest denier of medical procedures, MEDICARE.

jukin3 on July 3, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Wow, who could have seen this coming?

Chris of Rights on July 3, 2013 at 10:52 AM

However, the individual mandate is not being postponed.

And the IRS will be enforcing that…

So individuals will be forced into the under-subscribed state and federal exchanges.

Wethal on July 2, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Not postponed yet, my friend. Let’s wait and see. I can see many individuals not getting insurance and not paying the fine. Some might even be illegals (thanks, Marco)!

The IRS will be having a little trouble enforcing anything. They are under scrutiny and will not have the freedom for more fiscal capers in politics for a little while.

virgo on July 3, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Biggest denier of medical procedures, MEDICARE.

jukin3 on July 3, 2013 at 10:11 AM

This!

Not only do they screw the doctors with low reimbursement rates, they’re more likely to deny claims.

But the insurance companies are evil.

http://healthcare-economist.com/2008/06/30/medicare-more-likely-to-deny-claims-than-commerical-health-insurers/

Hill60 on July 3, 2013 at 11:55 AM

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.

So now there are at least 58,000 people in California, who have lost their coverage, lost their favorite doctor and are in for a huge surprise when they try to buy individual insurance. We should be hearing a rather large outcry from these folks by year’s end.

Hill60 on July 3, 2013 at 11:59 AM

The IRS will be having a little trouble enforcing anything. They are under scrutiny and will not have the freedom for more fiscal capers in politics for a little while.

virgo on July 3, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Please tell me you don’t actually believe this….

runawayyyy on July 3, 2013 at 12:35 PM