UnitedHealth Group plans to participate in more exchanges next year
UnitedHealth Group, the largest provider of health insurance in the U.S., will be playing a much larger role in the country’s insurance exchanges. The insurer had initially been wary of the exchanges, unsure whether or not these digital marketplaces would find any traction with consumers. While exchanges had a turbulent launch, they managed to capture a massive portion of the insurance market, proving that they can be valuable platforms for companies like UnitedHealth.
Insurers to offer policies in 24 insurance exchanges throughout the US
Next year, UnitedHealth intends to participate in as many as 24 insurance exchanges throughout the country. By comparison, UnitedHealth currently only offers policies in 4 exchanges. Some 8 million people flocked to exchanges to find the health insurance coverage they wanted, and the vast majority of these people have been paying premiums for this coverage on time. A significant portion of these people had been without insurance coverage before the exchanges had been launched. These new customers have created a promising environment within the insurance industry.
Doubts about exchanges and health care reform are being dispelled
Much of the uncertainty that had surrounded health insurance exchanges has been dispelled. Initially, many insurers were worried about how these exchanges would operate and whether or not they would be able to make money from the policies they sold through these marketplaces. Insurers had also been concerned about what type of people would purchase policies form exchanges. Some insurers had assumed that only older consumers with chronic and expensive medical conditions would purchase coverage, but many healthy consumers have flocked to exchanges to find policies that suit their needs.
Insurer sees coverage through Medicaid grow by 19%, with more than 4 million people now covered
Overall, UnitedHealth has seen many positive results from the Affordable Care Act. The insurer notes that it has seen Medicaid enrollment spike by 19%, with 4.7 million people receiving coverage. The federal law is not the sole reason for positive growth, of course, but it has created an environment in which the insurance industry can thrive, to some degree.