Uh, oh: California’s biggest insurer for small business has no interest in the small-business exchanges

posted at 7:01 pm on July 20, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Earlier this summer, three of California’s largest insurance companies announced that they were disinclined to participate in the state’s ObamaCare health insurance exchange system, and it didn’t take long for both Aetna and United Health to decide to stop offering plans through the individual insurance market altogether and instead opt to focus their activities on offering insurance through employers only.

Now, Anthem Blue Cross — California’s largest insurer for small businesses — is announcing that they have no intention of getting involved in the exchanges that ObamaCare plans to set up for the use of small business, and would much rather stick to going it alone. Via the LA Times:

Health insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross is spurning California’s new insurance market for small businesses, a potential setback in the state’s rollout of the federal healthcare law.

Anthem, a unit of WellPoint Inc., is California’s largest insurer for small employers. The company’s surprising move raised concerns about the state’s ability to offer competitive rates and attract businesses to its new Covered California exchange that opens Jan. 1. …

Friday’s disclosure made Anthem the first big insurer in California to publicly pass on the small-business pool. Some other big names, such as UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Aetna Inc., have already opted out of California’s larger exchange for individual consumers.

Oh, my. At the national level, ObamaCare’s advocates have been concerned that the specialty small-business exchanges, which the president so extravagantly promised would be one of the law’s many generous and helpful provisions, are not going to be able to attract enough insurers to keep them competitive or even viable. There’s been only piddling interest across other states, and once more, California is stepping forward to provide some of the pioneering examples of insurers outright rejecting to get involved in the state-run scheming. The Obama administration is already delaying on its promises to small businesses as they try not to panic about their priority of getting the individual exchanges up and running on time, but this certainly doesn’t bode well for the well-trumpeted choice and competition these exchanges were supposed to inherently foster.


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Go figure..another 0care fail

clnurnberg on July 20, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Executive order requiring all insurance companies to participate in the exchanges in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

chemman on July 20, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Gee, who would have thunk it.
Soon we will get our healthcare directly from IRS employees since no one can afford real healthcare with out insurance. Oh, except for the elite rich. Like Pelosi, Reid, Obama and Biden.

losarkos on July 20, 2013 at 7:08 PM

They’re just racists who are not honoring our president. Obviously.

Timin203 on July 20, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Could be Anthem is just posturing for some special favors/breaks/smokefilledbackroomdeals before it “sees the light.”

It ain’t over til the fat Moonbeam sings…

Marcola on July 20, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Sherman read my mind.

traye on July 20, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Sum Ting Wong?

Electrongod on July 20, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Damned phone! Chemman read my mind, not Sherman. Who the hell is Sherman?

traye on July 20, 2013 at 7:14 PM

And this is costing a fortune. Pay through the nose to get screwed. We knew that would be the case, and that’s why we opposed the health care destruction bill. Of course now CA is 40% Hispanic, with a large portion being illegals. I don’t know what significance that has, but it would be interesting to see how things are going in other states that are not so replete with undocumented Dems.

anotherJoe on July 20, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Gravity

Bmore on July 20, 2013 at 7:17 PM

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

– Emperor Obama I

ShainS on July 20, 2013 at 7:20 PM

A perfect socialist system is gonna work one day when someone is finally smart enough to plan for all the unintended consequences…

warden on July 20, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Just another bunch of greedy Republicans!

Another Drew on July 20, 2013 at 7:22 PM

A perfect socialist system is gonna work one day when someone is finally smart enough to plan for all the unintended consequences…
and they have an unlimited amount of Other People’s Money.

FTFY!

Another Drew on July 20, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Executive order requiring all insurance companies to participate in the exchanges in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

chemman on July 20, 2013 at 7:07 PM

this is inevitable…and the business about p/t vs. f/t..that will have to be seriously modified…like p/t = 8 hrs per week. Eventually we will have to make a choice…does business and taxpayer absorb most of the cost…or do individuals have any responsibility? The penalty is 2K max for a family, after several years…IF you can collect it. Ha, ha.

lots of EOs to be written…but not to worry…Hill will clean up the mess with a Mop…a Socialist Mop

r keller on July 20, 2013 at 7:29 PM

No surprise here.

I have an individual policy with Anthem and they recently advised me that I was grandfathered in and that I should not change my policy for any reason. Then listed what I am not paying for and why not change in great detail. Heaven help people who have to buy new policies.

CW20 on July 20, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Hey everyone, I have an idea…!

… Let’s elect Barack Hussein Obowma as President of the United States!

Who’s with me…?

Seven Percent Solution on July 20, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Damned phone! Chemman read my mind, not Sherman. Who the hell is Sherman?

traye on July 20, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Sherman was Mr. Peabody’s boy.

Oldnuke on July 20, 2013 at 7:42 PM

This would be funny if we hadn’t already seen this train wreck coming. LIVs won’t notice until there is a new President and they will blame him/her instead. By then the Ruination of American will be complete.

goflyers on July 20, 2013 at 7:44 PM

A perfect socialist system is gonna work one day when someone is finally smart enough to plan for all the unintended consequences…
and they have an unlimited amount of Other People’s Money.

FTFY!

Another Drew on July 20, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Blasphemer! He is already here. He has spoken.

Oldnuke on July 20, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Who’s with me…?

Seven Percent Solution on July 20, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Sadly over 50% of the voters in the last election.

Oldnuke on July 20, 2013 at 7:47 PM

yes, but ombama care will cut costs by half,its already happening in New York.

phatfawzi on July 20, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Oh sweet sweet Schadenfreude….

I worry that eventually the Obama administration will just resort to the bullying its famous for….who knows what executive orders or plain ole’ backroom deals will be made to save this disaster.

This group of corrupt tyrants will not allow Obamacare to fail on their watch, the only question is whether they will push it off until someone else is in charge or if they will start forcing companies to comply.

alecj on July 20, 2013 at 7:54 PM

No huge shock, these companies are accustomed to operating in an oligopoly with very limited competition. Ask them to assume more risk and whining immediately commences. You’ll see all 3 players enter the market in a year, once the risks are more clearly assessed, paths to lower pricing are identified, and some of the more aggressive players are no longer selling just above cost in order to grow market share.

bayam on July 20, 2013 at 7:59 PM

I want Rachel Jeantel to pay for my healthcare. She’s the “new school” and what have you.

Punchenko on July 20, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Great. Anthem BC is our provider. Just great.

john1schn on July 20, 2013 at 8:01 PM

This is Obama’s plan, of course.

faraway on July 20, 2013 at 8:02 PM

bayam on July 20, 2013 at 7:59 PM

When do we get to the part where you pay for my healthcare? Who do I have to vote for to get me some bayam money?

Punchenko on July 20, 2013 at 8:03 PM

bayam, when will you (and other progs) learn that when you require the entire populace to purchase a product, there is no incentive for the provider to lower their sticker price? Case in point: Texas auto insurance. Costs have skyrocketed since the Texas government required all drivers to carry insurance. Sure, it’s a great idea for people to carry insurance, but when ALL ARE COVERED, then ALL get to share in the risk of the collective. Meaning that when I open my insurance bill every 6 months, the cost goes up, even though I don’t have tickets, don’t have accidents and garage my car in a statistically safe neighborhood.

Forcing all to take part removes the incentive for insurers to keep prices reasonable.

john1schn on July 20, 2013 at 8:06 PM

This is Obama’s plan, of course.

faraway on July 20, 2013 at 8:02 PM

If Obama had a plan, he wouldn’t have to make statements on Friday concerning The Zimmerman Affair to distract us from the ongoing collapse of his inept administration.

Punchenko on July 20, 2013 at 8:07 PM

bayam on July 20, 2013 at 7:59 PM

When do we get to the part where you pay for my healthcare? Who do I have to vote for to get me some bayam money?

Punchenko on July 20, 2013 at 8:03 PM

If you go to the emergency room every week for treatment of your chronic heart condition, then everyone is already paying for your healthcare. The right wing line around ‘free care’ is pretty absurd- it’s not the basis of Romneycare or any of the very successful healthcare models in other countries, such as Germany or France.

bayam on July 20, 2013 at 8:08 PM

If you go to the emergency room every week for treatment of your chronic heart condition, then everyone is already paying for your healthcare.

bayam on July 20, 2013 at 8:08 PM

What????

You mean I didn’t have to pay my bill???

Electrongod on July 20, 2013 at 8:10 PM

This is the kind of thing those damned Republicans would impose on us.//

docflash on July 20, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Unfortunately, this is expected. The Obamunists want the insurance carries to refuse to do business. This way they can setup their own state insurance. Its one more step to single payer govt provided healthcare.

paulsur on July 20, 2013 at 8:11 PM

This is Obama’s plan, of course.

faraway on July 20, 2013 at 8:02 PM

If Obama had a plan, he wouldn’t have to make statements on Friday concerning The Zimmerman Affair to distract us from the ongoing collapse of his inept administration.

Punchenko on July 20, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Obama doesn’t know how to lead jack sh*t, so speeches and the illusion of power through executive order is all he’s got. He’s a puppet stooge for the progressive machine. This was the plan all along: a clear cut road to single payer.

somewhatconcerned on July 20, 2013 at 8:13 PM

The right wing line around ‘free care’ is pretty absurd

bayam on July 20, 2013 at 8:08 PM

The “free care” line is strictly from the left.

We righty’s know nothing is ever “free”.

Why don’t you worry about what is going on in your own country and leave us alone.

Barred on July 20, 2013 at 8:13 PM

paulsur on July 20, 2013 at 8:11 PM

That might be true if they were capable of setting up their own exchanges.

Don’t see it happening, at least not any time soon.

Barred on July 20, 2013 at 8:18 PM

the Data Hub…hmmmmmm. Everything that is used by obamacare…income, ssn’s, etc. will be in the Data Hub.

bayam, for one, salutes our new overlords

However, the hacker threat is the least of the Data Hub worries. The hub will be used on a daily basis by so-called Navigators, which according to the GAO are “community and consumer-focused nonprofit groups, to which exchanges award grants to provide fair and impartial public education” and “refer consumers as appropriate for further assistance.” Thousands of such people will have unfettered access to the Data Hub, but there are only sketchy guidelines on how they will be hired, trained and monitored. Given the slap-dash, incoherent way Obamacare is being implemented the prospect for quality control is low. And the Obama administration’s track record of sweetheart deals, no-bid, sole-source contracting and other means of rewarding people with insider access means the Data Hub will be firmly in the hands of trusted White House loyalists. – See

more at: http://rare.us/story/move-over-nsa-here-comes-the-obamacare-big-brother-database/#sthash.gGDYgpc8.dpuf

r keller on July 20, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Single payer is coming down the tracks folks. The train wreck has only just begun.

Drained Brain on July 20, 2013 at 8:22 PM

I personally will not sent any information about my healthcare to the IRS. Will not fill out their forms.

If everyone that was against obamacare would do the same, there is no way they could handle checking on everyone.

Got to take a stand somewhere.

Barred on July 20, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Oh, my. At the national level, ObamaCare’s advocates have been concerned that the specialty small-business exchanges, which the president so extravagantly promised would be one of the law’s many generous and helpful provisions,
================================

Me thinks,the Leacherous/Treacherous and Ever Sneaky/Coniving
Hopey Team will find a way,to force the Insurance Companys to
swallow this impending disaster!

canopfor on July 20, 2013 at 8:27 PM

All part of obaka’s plan.

….thanks a lot, 47%!!!

ladyingray on July 20, 2013 at 8:28 PM

If you go to the emergency room every week for treatment of your chronic heart condition, then everyone is already paying for your healthcare. The right wing line around ‘free care’ is pretty absurd- it’s not the basis of Romneycare or any of the very successful healthcare models in other countries, such as Germany or France.

bayam on July 20, 2013 at 8:08 PM

And how are Germany and France doing, financially, as a country?

ladyingray on July 20, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Send your health care bill to bayam.

22044 on July 20, 2013 at 8:32 PM

If Hillary becomes Prez, she and the Progs will be open to repeal O-care……and replace it with a single-payer system that will be even more disastrous that the system in the UK.

It’s coming. I hope she touts it in the campaign so we can hang her with it.

KirknBurker on July 20, 2013 at 8:32 PM

Wait and see approach is what I am hearing. As in, see if it’s profitable before jumping in. That’s what I am hearing anyways.

ArkyDore on July 20, 2013 at 8:46 PM

ObamaCare……..designed to fail since Day One. The Democrats had hoped to have moved on to a single payer system by now. Unfortunately for them, the 2010 elections occurred.

As Max Baucus would say “I hear that train a comin’, comin’ round the bend………….. TRAIN WRECK!”

GarandFan on July 20, 2013 at 8:47 PM

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it does it make a sound?
if Obama creates a health care plan and no one participates is it still 2010?

Herb on July 20, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Sum Ting Wong?

Electrongod on July 20, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Yu Fuk Ing White!

KOOLAID2 on July 20, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Executive order requiring all insurance companies to participate in the exchanges in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

chemman on July 20, 2013 at 7:07 PM

These companies are looking for a Fascist Corporatist free ride. They want to have a “business arrangement” with the Federal government where they get full backing for their losses (via taxpayers), and a guaranteed market where everyone has to buy insurance from them.

I think this is a ploy to make this happen. They can’t just become an adjunct of the Federal government from their side.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 20, 2013 at 9:00 PM

From the point of view of the Democrats, this is not a bug. It’s a feature.

Now they can implement “single payer”, which was ALWAYS the real goal.

Steven Den Beste on July 20, 2013 at 9:18 PM

I blame the evil Republican Governor of (my) California, plus the heavy Republican majority in the State Assembly and State Senate…

Oh, wait…

Khun Joe on July 20, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Small businesses gonna get bashed one way and another by Obama & his supporters:

http://lat.ms/1axIur8

Chessplayer on July 20, 2013 at 9:46 PM

It’s Zimmerman fault. Let’s have a Federal hate crime Trial!!!!

MaiDee on July 20, 2013 at 9:51 PM

If you go to the emergency room every week for treatment of your chronic heart condition, then everyone is already paying for your healthcare. The right wing line around ‘free care’ is pretty absurd- it’s not the basis of Romneycare or any of the very successful healthcare models in other countries, such as Germany or France.

bayam on July 20, 2013 at 8:08 PM

You are so phucking stupid…it’s hilarious.

HumpBot Salvation on July 20, 2013 at 10:23 PM

I’m bored, so it’s fun with bayam time™: bayanisms on the thread, with the parts he didn’t learn in NEA-approved public school in bold.

No huge shock, these companies are accustomed to operating in an oligopoly with very limited competition at the state level, thanks to Federal laws that forbid insurance companies registered in one state to offer their products across state lines (however, Congresscritters are exempt from this restriction, which is what then-VP candidate Paul Ryan highlighted during the 2012 election season, but, EVIL REPUBLICANS!!!). Ask them to assume more risk while forbidding them to recoup the increased costs of carrying those government-imposed additional risks, and whining immediately commences. You’ll see all 3 players enter the market in a year, once the risks are more clearly assessed, paths to lower pricing are identified, and some of the more aggressive players are no longer selling just above cost in order to grow market share, because once Obamacare falls apart (as designed and intended from the start) and is succeeded by a government-mandated single payer system, the healthcare market will be so heavily regulated that the name on your insurance policy won’t matter. The product will be equally bland no matter what company is left around by then to sell it, and the cost will be horrifically expensive compared to where it was prior to 2013.

bayam on July 20, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Let’s have another go, shall we?

If you go to the emergency room every week for treatment of your chronic heart condition and either refuse to pay for it or else provide fake identification (so you cannot be billed), then everyone is already paying for your healthcare. Since I have a straw man to flog harder than Ike beat Tina, I’ll pretend that the right wing line around ‘free care’ is pretty absurd – it’s not the basis of Romneycare or any of the very successful healthcare models in other countries, such as Germany or France. Take my word for it, neanderthals, ’cause economic statistics are stupid partisan lies unless I deign to quote them.

bayam on July 20, 2013 at 8:08 PM

See how easy this is? Details are for pu$$ie$, and you know bayam isn’t one of those…

Wanderlust on July 20, 2013 at 11:07 PM

I love it when a plan comes together!

jukin3 on July 20, 2013 at 11:25 PM

I think bayam is Paul Krugman.

NotCoach on July 20, 2013 at 11:45 PM

If you go to the emergency room every week for treatment of your chronic heart condition, then everyone is already paying for your healthcare. The right wing line around ‘free care’ is pretty absurd- it’s not the basis of Romneycare or any of the very successful healthcare models in other countries, such as Germany or France.

bayam on July 20, 2013 at 8:08 PM

I got a question Begala. Why you no be on HA on a day to day basis or even once a week? You get paid for quality?

arnold ziffel on July 21, 2013 at 12:10 AM

Soon we will get our healthcare directly from IRS employees since no one can afford real healthcare with out insurance. Oh, except for the elite rich. Like Pelosi, Reid, Obama and Biden.

losarkos on July 20, 2013 at 7:08 PM

The thought of Lois Lerner with a latex glove is to frightening to contemplate.

Send Bayam to her.

trigon on July 21, 2013 at 12:38 AM

The thought of Lois Lerner with a latex glove is to frightening to contemplate.

It’s not like I have a Bea Arthur fetish. No, I don’t. Ever.

Tekov Yahoser on July 21, 2013 at 4:27 AM

Oh, my.
POSTED AT 7:01 PM ON JULY 20, 2013 BY ERIKA JOHNSEN

Yes it is difficult for some intelligent successful businessmen to accept the constant ravenous bites they receive from the government as they’re forced to feed it more and more, but in the end they’ll capitulate.
Blamed, beaten, or bribed, Detroit didn’t rot in a day.

onomo on July 21, 2013 at 8:02 AM

If you go to the emergency room every week for treatment of your chronic heart condition, then everyone is already paying for your healthcare. The right wing line around ‘free care’ is pretty absurd- it’s not the basis of Romneycare or any of the very successful healthcare models in other countries, such as Germany or France.

bayam on July 20, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Not really an answer..but you knew that.

The reality of the mess that is known as Obama is coming to light and you’re once again confirmed the Village Idiot.

CW on July 21, 2013 at 9:06 AM

The right wing line around ‘free care’ is pretty absurd

bayam on July 20, 2013 at 8:08 PM

The “free care” line is strictly from the left.

We righty’s know nothing is ever “free”.

Why don’t you worry about what is going on in your own country and leave us alone.

Barred on July 20, 2013 at 8:13 PM

Bayam is good at putting words in other peoples mouths. Hey has he ever told you about Rush, Buffett etc…?

CW on July 21, 2013 at 9:09 AM

How come they don’t say WHY they are not getting involved? Also not mentioned by the media, bloggers, talking heads etc. is that millions of CITIZENS are also planning to defy the Marxists and refuse to participate. Remember Prohibition!

devan95 on July 21, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Wow, who could have seen this coming?

Chris of Rights on July 22, 2013 at 8:59 AM