The third open enrollment period for Obamacare is currently underway ahead of the New Year and the CEO of America's largest health insurance is expressing regret for getting involved in the government mandated entitlement program. From Bloomberg (bolding is mine):
UnitedHealth Group Inc. should have stayed out of Obamacare’s new individual markets longer, the chief executive officer of the biggest U.S. health insurer said Tuesday, after announcing last month that it will take hundreds of millions of dollars in losses related to the business.
While the company’s other lines of business are growing, instead of expanding into Obamacare next year, the company should have kept waiting, UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley said at an investor meeting in New York.
“It was for us a bad decision,” Hemsley said. “I take accountability for sitting out the exchange market in year one so we could in theory observe, learn and see how the market experience would develop. This was a prudent going-in position. In retrospect, we should have stayed out longer.”
UnitedHealth said on Nov. 19 that it may quit selling coverage in the Affordable Care Act’s individual markets in 2017.
Keep in mind that big health insurers backed Obamacare when it was passed in 2010 because they were told they'd have a lot to gain. They're starting to learn their lesson as people in the individual market, especially young healthy people, choose to forego increasingly high premiums and deductibles for a smaller IRS fine. Further, a number of states that set up their own Obamacare exchanges have been nixing them all together after massive failure and wasting millions of taxpayer dollars.
New reports from last month show Obamacare costs and the overall cost of health insurance will increase yet again in 2016, despite promises the legislation would lower costs for individuals and families.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration and the White House continue to tout Obamacare as a roaring success, even though at least 20 million Americans remain uninsured and after millions have lost their private insurance.