Even though UnitedHealthcare (NYSE:UNH) plans to exit most Obamacare exchanges, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who helped design the original Affordable Care Act plan told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney while it’s important to keep big insurers, the nation’s largest health insurer has “never been a big player.”
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“United was very tepid about joining the exchanges early on, did very little, has never been a very active player even at its absolute peak the largest insurer in the country… had 6% of the exchange market. It’s never been a big player and it is not completely exiting the exchanges.”
Emanuel also discussed how the exchanges have seen an increase in insurers entering in 2016.
“Last year you guys highlighted 39 insurers are leaving marketplaces -- turns out 40 were joining…actually had an increase in the insurers.”
While a new study by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association revealed health care premium and deductibles are on the rise, Emanuel argued premiums went down, and the exchange is not falling apart.
“For 2016 which is the only time we have premium data, the premium level went down in 12 states, the average after the subsidy premium was actually down, not up, across the country,” he said.
He says attracting more healthy people to get into the exchanges, education and reinsurance in risk corridors will keep big insurers like United Healthcare in the exchange.