via Wall Street Journal
The nation’s largest health insurer said it would pull out of nearly all of the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges, signaling continued instability in the law’s signature marketplaces as they head toward their fourth year.
After losses on the exchanges, UnitedHealth Group Inc. will pare its presence from 34 states this year to “only a handful” in 2017, said Chief Executive Stephen J. Hemsley during the company’s first-quarter earnings conference call Tuesday. Mr. Hemsley said that the “smaller overall market size and shorter-term, higher-risk profile within this market segment continue to suggest we cannot broadly serve it on an effective and sustained basis.”
UnitedHealth also steepened its projected loss on the 2016 exchange business to $650 million from around $525 million, amid signs that new enrollees’ health status appeared worse. The company booked a large chunk of that loss last year. UnitedHealth said it had approximately 795,000 exchange enrollees at the end of the first quarter.