As of the end of February, Washington state had lost 12% of the 200,691 customers who signed up, with 176,914 still active. Yet state data show that only 156,493 customers had submitted payment by the end of February, with other shoppers facing their first due date in March, so it’s likely that there will be more dropouts.
The definition of what counts as health care is expanding. Health care systems can responsibly steward and amplify shared economic, human, and community resources to deliver high-value care within and beyond a provider’s walls. Our pilot project at Kaiser Permanente is one concrete step in that direction.
UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest commercial health insurer, made good on a six-month-old threat and announced Tuesday that it will pull out of Affordable Care Act exchanges in all but “a handful of states” after this year. It’s proper to remember that although it’s the nation’s largest commercial health insurer, United operates chiefly in the employer-sponsored, Medicare, and Medicaid markets.
Because Obamacare’s individual mandate is so weak, and because the Obama administration created various loopholes to juice enrollment numbers, people who sign up for exchange-based coverage have had the ability to come in and out of the system whenever they need someone to pay for their health care. UnitedHealth Group, America’s largest health insurer, announced that “over 20 percent of our enrollment base were folks that had joined us after enrollment,” increasing to 30 percent, and that these late enrollees were consuming 20 percent more health care than usual enrollees.
On Tuesday Governor Inslee, a Democrat, vetoed several sections of Senate Bill 6656, including a portion that would have allowed psychiatric nurses with advanced degrees to fill vacant psychiatrist positions at the hospital. State Sen. Andy Hill, the Republican sponsor of the bill, said Inslee had nixed the measure’s most important reforms.
This change will likely have little to no effect on the Exchange’s individual market where UHC had less than 2% of the enrollment. However, this will affect the Exchange’s small business marketplace With the loss of UHC, the Exchange does not anticipate continuing with a statewide SHOP in 2017. Rather, SHOP will “likely be limited to two counties in SW WA served by Kaiser.”