The shake up of the individual market begins. On Tuesday United Health Care announced that they were going to be leaving the individual marketplace in all but "a handful" of states in which they currently sell Obamacare policies.
This isn't something that we should be surprised to see. With losses in 2015 of $475,000,000 and projected losses in 2016 of $500,000,000 why would any business continue to operate in a losing market? Especially considering UHC's enrollment across the 34 states they participate in is only 795,000 people.
So where does UHC stand at this point? Thanks to some excellent tracking by Zach Tracer at Bloomberg we know that UHC is leaving 24 states. They have verbally agreed to participate in only two states so far for 2017. Here's a handy little map to see where UHC stands in your state.
While we don't know the exact fallout yet, consumers should be prepared for more insurers to follow. With a couple of years of actual claims data and the constant churn happening in the individual marketplace, it's going to be difficult for insurers to find profitability in this space. At least they won't be profitable until the true costs of care are actually factored in to the premium pricing.
Then we will have what we always believed Obamacare to be, an unsustainable high risk pool paid for by your tax dollars.