United Healthcare is the largest health insurer in America. For the most part, their focus has lately been on group insurance products, as well as ancillary. As for individual medical, they’ve largely stayed out of the market. When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect in 2010, United Healthcare participated in a few states during the first year. They decided to expand their participation on the marketplace the following year. Then, they started to lose a lot of money so they exited the market almost entirely. Their first quarter reading projected almost three quarters of a billion dollars in losses. This is not unlike the experiences of other carriers. Many carriers have abandoned the market because of financial losses. This past year United Healthcare pulled out of most markets save for a few states that are primarily state-run rather than on the federal marketplace.
Since they’re not heavily involved in the ACA market, they’ve instead focused on ancillary products for individual medical. For example, they offer short-term medical plans. If you’ve yet to hear, the previous administration under President Obama limited short-term plans to 90-day coverage periods. Though restricted to 90-days, short-term plans are available for rewrites. Initially, people could not reapply with the same carrier for another short-term plan; however, people can renew their policy after the 90-days. In addition to short-term medical, United Healthcare also provides dental, vision, and critical illness plans. They’ve also started offering fixed indemnity plans.
Right now, United Healthcare is waiting to see what will happen with the healthcare system. They’re started to turn a profit again now that they’ve reduced their presence in the ACA market. With that said, they may not increase their participation for 2017-2018 because they lost so much money through Obamacare. Across the board, no carrier has really made money through Obamacare. Therefore, United Healthcare has chosen to focus on ancillary products for the individual market, as well as products on the senior market and group market. Like other carriers, United Healthcare diversifies and offers products for multiple markets.
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