HealthCare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan stated the announcement by the US’ biggest health insurer, UnitedHealthcare, that it would leave most of the Obamacare exchanges it operates in by 2017 was “not unexpected in a marketplace” and “what you expect in a new and dynamic market” on Wednesday’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” on the Fox News Channel.
Counihan began by saying that while “we’re still waiting to see” the impact of UnitedHealthcare’s departure, the company has “a pretty small market share overall. it’s about 6% of market share of the total exchange.” Counihan further stated that he feels “very confident about the remaining amount of choice that individuals are going to have throughout the states.”
He further discussed the impact of the UnitedHealthcare departure on insurance premiums, saying, “[T]he Kaiser Family Foundation just did a study about this, that was released yesterday, that showed the impact if they left all markets, would be about 1% increase in premium. So, again, no increase in premium is not what we want, but it feels like it’s a fairly minimal impact.”
Counihan added, “[T]his is not unexpected in a marketplace, particularly one that’s dynamic, like our own, that continues to expand. We enrolled roughly 13 million people, last year, of roughly 40%, or 5 million, were brand new customers. We’ve got insurance companies that are expanding, like Cigna announced today. So, again, this is what you expect in a new and dynamic market.”
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