The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Breaking News

January 17, 2013

Insurers may prove choosy with overhaul exchanges

The leader of the nation's largest health insurer warned Thursday not to assume widespread participation from his company in part of health care overhaul's coverage expansion that unfolds later this year.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. CEO Stephen Hemsley told analysts the insurer's involvement in online exchanges that are expected to help millions buy coverage will depend on whether it's financially viable for the company.

"We will only participate in exchanges that we assess to be fair, commercially sustainable and provide a reasonable return on the capital they will require," he said.

These exchanges are expected to start accepting enrollment this fall for coverage that begins in 2014. Customers will use the websites, which will vary by state, to compare policies and apply income-based tax credits toward their bills. Many details on the exchanges have yet to be worked out, so Hemsley said the company hasn't made any specific decisions.

But he estimated that UnitedHealth will participate initially in roughly 10 to 25 exchanges, when at least 100 might be set up.

"In a perfect world, we would participate in them all," he said, adding that the insurer will keep evaluating exchanges and could eventually join more.

These exchanges will target individuals and people who have coverage through small employers. The consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has estimated that they will generate $50 billion in premiums for the industry and at least 11 million customers by next year.

But insurers will have to spend money to make that money. The overhaul will impose taxes and fees on insurers, and it introduces some restrictions on how they can set premiums or the price of coverage.

Insurers, who are not required to participate in the exchanges, also will have to design plans that fit the requirements for each state exchange and build networks of health care providers.

Text Only
Breaking News
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

How bad is the child abuse and neglect problem in Madison County?

Very bad
Bad
Not that bad
Not sure
     View Results