It’s almost like someone could have predicted this.
UnitedHealth (UNH), which is weighing an exit from the Obamacare exchanges, reported it lost about $475 million on Obamacare-compliant plans in 2015 and expects to lose more than $500 million this year.
The insurer, the parent company of United Healthcare, ended last year with about 500,000 enrollees in Obamacare exchange plans. It expects that number to grow towards 800,000 during the 2016 open enrollment period, which ends Jan. 31, before dropping again as some members get jobs, stop paying premiums or find insurance elsewhere. (Also in 2015, it had about 150,000 enrollees who signed up outside the exchanges for individual policies that are compliant with Obamacare.)
UnitedHealth, which sat out the first year of Obamacare in 2014, said it is not looking to grow its exchange business. Instead, it has increased prices, eliminated marketing and commissions and withdrawn its top-tier products. In an effort to stem the losses, it is also working more closely with providers and enrollees to manage their illnesses and care.