Shares of major U.S. health insurers were taking a hit Tuesday, reacting to the announcement from JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) that they are forming a partnership to address health care for their U.S. employees, with the goal of improving employee satisfaction while reducing costs.
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The high cost of health care in the U.S. has long been a concern, with Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffet stating, “The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” in the press release announcing the companies’ partnership.
U.S. per capita health care spending totaled $9,024 in 2014, according to the Peter G. Petersen Foundation, which is about double the average of other developed countries in the world.
Health care companies taking a big hit on the news include UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) CVS Health (NYSE:CVS), Cigna (NYSE:CI), Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) and Humana (NYSE:HUM).