UnitedHealth Indicates Limited Participation In State-Based Exchanges

CEO Stephen Hemsley said Thursday that the insurer expects to participate in 10 to 25 of these marketplaces and noted that there should be no assumptions that the company will participate widely. His announcement comes along with news that the company's 4th quarter profits were down slightly, which was mainly attributed to rising medical costs.

The Wall Street Journal: UnitedHealth Weighs In On New Exchange Option
UnitedHealth said it expected to participate in 10 to 25 or more of the marketplaces, out of what the insurer said could be as many as 100, with each state hosting exchanges for individual plans and for small businesses. However, the insurer also said it had "absolutely no firm commitment to that range," and its total will change based on the situation in each state (Mathews and Kamp, 1/17).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: UnitedHealth Says Participation In Overhaul Coverage Expansion Depends On Fairness, Viability
UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley said Thursday analysts shouldn't assume that the nation’s largest health insurer will participate widely in the health care overhaul's online insurance exchanges (1/17).

Reuters/The New York Times: Income At UnitedHealth Drops A Bit As Medical Costs Rise
The UnitedHealth Group, the nation's largest health insurer, reported a slight drop in its fourth-quarter net income on Thursday as medical costs rose, but its revenue increased more than 11 percent, helped by growth in its Medicare, care management, technology and international businesses (1/17).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: UnitedHealth 4th-Quarter Profit Down 1 Pct. As Costs Rise; Insurer Maintains 2013 Forecast
UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s fourth-quarter net income slipped 1 percent, as a rise in costs from medical claims and other expenses countered revenue gains for the nation's largest health insurer. The Minnetonka, Minn., company also said Thursday it was reaffirming a forecast for 2013 earnings it made in November (1/17).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.