UnitedHealth leaving Georgia, Arkansas ACA markets
- UnitedHealth Group is leaving the ACA marketplace in two states: Georgia and Arkansas, Bloomberg reported.
- In Novemer 2015, the payer expressed doubt in the individual marketplace and stated it would re-evaluate its future participation.
- In January, UnitedHealth attributed the loss of $720 million in 2015 to the ACA plans.
UnitedHealth's ACA market story arc has been a "will they/won't they" narrative since it publicly noted its skepticism of the market last November.
However, some are unsure whether the payer's criticism is correctly placed upon the marketplace. Despite the $720 million loss, UnitedHealth's overall revenue for 2015 increased 20% to hit $157.1 billion.
In February, Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee took UnitedHealth to task for "throwing the Affordable Care Act under the bus" in order to excuse its exchange losses and threatening to end its participation. At the time, Lee argued the insurer's losses are due to its own mistakes regarding its rates and networks.
According to CMS data, about 12.7 million individuals signed up for health coverage through the individual marketplace, included 587,845 from Georgia and 73,648 from Arkansas. Individuals who had coverage from UnitedHealth will now have to find new coverage next year.
UnitedHealth spokesman Tyler Mason had not returned Healthcare Dive's call as of publication but confirmed the exits to Bloomberg adding he would not comment on whether the insurer would leave additional state ACA markets.
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