Nation’s largest insurer warns of Obamacare losses, may have to exit program

Nation’s largest insurer warns of Obamacare losses, may have to exit program

UnitedHealth Group, the largest insurance company in the U.S., on Thursday slashed its earnings outlook, citing new problems related to Obamacare, and told investors it may exit the program’s exchanges.

“In recent weeks, growth expectations for individual exchange participation have tempered industrywide, co-operatives have failed, and market data has signaled higher risks and more difficulties while our own claims experience has deteriorated,” Stephen J. Hemsley, chief executive officer of UnitedHealth Group, said in a press release.

The release added that, “UnitedHealthcare has pulled back on its marketing efforts for individual exchange products in 2016. The company is evaluating the viability of the insurance exchange product segment and will determine during the first half of 2016 to what extent it can continue to serve the public exchange markets in 2017.”

The company said it expects “earnings pressure” of $425 million, which “is driven by projected losses on individual exchange-compliant products related to the 2015 and 2016 policy years.”

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