Thursday, January 21, 2016

Is United pulling out of Obamacare?

A little while back I noticed a headline that United was contemplating pulling out of Obamacare due to losses in that department.  I intended to blog about it then, but forgot... until another headline about it showed in my Facebook feed today:

What would an exit by UnitedHealth Group mean for Obamacare?

This, in addition to Congress's recent attempt to axe the Affordable Care Act, has me very concerned about the future of Obamacare.  United is one of the biggest health insurers on the plan, and for people like me with a need for good health care, one of the only real choices.  It definitely won't go over well if they back out.

In addition, due to recent changes in my life I may soon be more affected by any changes to Obamacare than I ever thought I'd be.  I'm almost afraid to get it and depend on it for my health care, but COBRA will only last me so long, and what will I do when it runs out?

When I first saw the headlines regarding United's losses, I was made because they're making it obvious the losses are just in the Obamacare department.  That's not how insurance is supposed to work.  You're not supposed to compare one individual to another, or one group -- say, Obamacare -- to another -- say, employer group plans.  Lots of people on Obamacare are going to be people who are sick or otherwise expensive.  That's why Obamacare was needed, after all.  It's not fair to compare them to a bunch of healthy professionals.

Insurance is supposed to allow you to absorb the costs of the sick or needy by insuring the healthy.  It should all be one pool, not Obamacare vs. group plans.

That's what I was going to point out the first time I saw the headline.  This time it popped up on my feed, another discussion caught my attention.

Hey look, United, the Internet already figured out for you where your lost profits are going!

Seriously.  Don't complain about losses when your top six people -- just SIX -- earned a combined $58.7 million in 2014.  You're a business; it's your responsibility to figure out how to be profitable, not the government's responsibility to make it easier for you.

Although if you ask me, the future of people's health shouldn't be decided on whether or not they're profitable, anyway.

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