Monday, August 01, 2016

Obamacare Takes a Toll and Centene Rolls

Most health insurance carriers that allowed themselves to get sucked into the hope and change pitch
have regretted ever getting involved in Obamacare. Some of the larger carrier groups, like Anthem are cautiously optimistic while United Health Care has essentially washed their hands of this mess.
Anthem said it now believed it would see a "mid-single-digit" operating margin loss on its ACA plans in 2016, due to higher-than-expected medical costs. It expects better results next year, because it is seeking substantial premium increases.

(Double digit premium increases, in some cases above 30%).

UnitedHealth Group Inc. recently confirmed it is withdrawing almost completely from the ACA marketplaces in 2017, amid mounting losses. Humana Inc. recently said that in the wake of its own losses, it will also pull back sharply. Humana now expects to sell individual plans next year in 156 counties across 11 states, at most, down from 1,351 counties in 19 states this year. - NASDAQ
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Centene continues to sound more like Brer Rabbit in the briar patch.

On Tuesday, Centene Corp., which like other Medicaid-focused insurers continues to see strong results from its own ACA plans, alarmed investors by booking a $300 million reserve fund partly due to projected problems with the legacy exchange business of Health Net Inc., which Centene recently acquired. Centene said it would pull back the former Health Net exchange presence in Arizona to one county, among other efforts to resolve the issues

In spite of the indigestion caused by swallowing Health Net, Centene should continue to do very well in the shark infested Obamacare pool.


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