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Life Health > Health Insurance

Humana leaves 2017 individual health options open

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Humana (NYSE:HUM) is unhappy with the performance of its public exchange plans and other individual health plans, but it seems to be open to staying in the individual health market in some states in 2017.

The company talked about its 2017 strategy in a first-quarter earnings announcement.

Humana has agreed to be acquired by Aetna (NYSE:AET). While the acquisition process is under way, Humana has stopped offering the kinds of quarterly earnings conference calls with securities analysts that publicly traded companies typically organize.

Humana is reporting $234 million in net income for the first quarter on $14 billion in revenue, compared with $430 million in net income on $14 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2015.

The company ended the quarter providing or administer major medical coverage for 14 million people, or about as many people as it was covering a year earlier.

Enrollment in individual commercial plans fell 14 percent, to 1.1 million, in part because of a decision to pull back from actively marketing coverage through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) public exchange system.

Group Medicare Advantage plan enrollment fell 26 percent, to 349,200, in part because Humana lost a group Medicare Advantage plan with about 100,000 enrollees to a private exchange program. Most of the private exchange users chose traditional Medicare coverage along with Medicare supplement plans, the company says.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) has already started withdrawing from the 2017 individual market in more than 20 states.

Humana says it’s “in the process of finalizing plans for its [PPACA]-compliant individual commercial medical market offerings in 2017.”

Humana “anticipates proposes a number of changes to retain a viable product for individual consumers, where feasible, and address persistent risk selection challenges,” the company says. “Such changes may include certain statewide market and product exits both on and off exchange, service area reductions and pricing commensurate with anticipated levels of risk by state.”

See also:

Many PPACA exchange plan enrollees use HIV drugs

CCIIO to state PCIPs: Take our deal or shut down


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