Obamacare makes Carriers Question their Future

Photo: Associated Press

The shakedown of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act continues. Just how shaky this ride may get is still uncertain.

The reform law took a hard shot in New York with the collapse of Health Republic there. Then UnitedHealth rocked the PPACA’s world with news that it was losing way too much in the PPACA sandbox and might have to beat a retreat to keep from being skinned alive by investors.

In response, key insurers Aetna and Anthem late last week offered votes of confidence for their future participation in Obamacare. That news came despite their shares falling, presumably on the UnitedHealth news.

With the news that UnitedHealth may pull out of PPACA exchanges after 2016, the fate of the Obama health care…

In a statement, Aetna’s CEO, Joseph Swedish, said his company’s commitment to providing marketplace insurer hadn’t changed, and discussions with policymakers “regarding how we can improve the stability of the individual market” will be ongoing.

Both companies said their business with marketplace insurance had proceeded as forecast and they saw no reason to second-guess their decisions to stay in the game. Other marketplace insurers also chimed in to say they were committed to providing insurance via the exchanges.

The stock market didn’t exactly go wild over the hubbub. It punished Aetna by extracting a couple dollars from its share price since the UnitedHealth announcement Nov. 20. Anthem fell the furthest, about seven dollars, and UnitedHealth actually righted itself, jumped up several dollars, then fell back to about where it started just before it made its announcement.

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