Monday, June 11, 2012

UnitedHealth to Keep Some Health-Law Provisions
The signs of the times.
Matthew 16.3
UnitedHealth, one of the nation’s  biggest health insurers, says it plans to keep several provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

United will:
·         Allow Young people up to 26 to stay on parents’ plans

·         Retain a ban on life-time maximums
·         Not rescind benefits

·         Not charge for certain preventive benefits, such as recommended vaccinations.
However,  United stopped short or remained silent on promising coverage to children regardless of pre-existing conditions, and did not say whether it agreed with  requirement that health plans must spend 80% of premiums for health benefits for individuals or small companies,  and 85% of benefits for large companies.
Is this a sign of the times”?  Will United’s position spill over to other health plans? Is its position more cosmetic and political rather than substantive?  Will it be extended to the real insurer  cost-eaters -  covering adults with pre-existing conditions (guaranteed issue) and   to mandating the same rate health rates to young healthy adults and the older and sick regardless of health status (community rating).  These are the truly big cost issues for health plans, regardless of how Supreme Court rules.
Tweet: UnitedHealth has announced it will retain some of the less costly provisions of the health law regardless of Surpreme Court rules.

1.       Anna Wilde Matthews,  “UnitedHealth to Keep Some Health-Law Provisions,  Wall Street Journal,  June 11, 2012
2.       Pam Belluck, “Health Care After the Supreme Court Ruling, New York Times, June 10, 2012.

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