UnitedHealthcare Extends the Reach of ACA Plans to 22 States

Popular health insurance Company UnitedHealthcare has said it is extending its presence on the ACA exchanges to 22 states.

On Nov. 1, the first day of open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces, residents of Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington will have access to UHC’s plans.

UnitedHealth plans were offered in 18 states for the 2022 plan year, up from 11 states in 2021. As payers struggled to make a profit on the exchanges in 2016, the insurer significantly reduced its offerings. However, starting in 2020, it started to expand its reach in the individual market once more.

Health plans that had been reluctant to expand their offerings have been encouraged to do so by increased stability and a wave of enrollments that resulted in the highest enrollment ever on the exchanges.

Marcus Robinson, senior vice president of UnitedHealthcare Individual and Family Plans, stated in the release that “everyone should have access to quality, affordable health care coverage, especially given that many Americans are working hard to keep their costs down.”

We’ve added more options for the 2023 Health Insurance Marketplace, “meeting the varied needs of our members and assisting them in making the right decision for themselves and their families, thanks to increased eligibility and subsidies.”

According to the statement, UnitedHealthcare’s 2023 exchange plans include options with $0 unlimited primary care and $0 unlimited virtual urgent care. Prescriptions can be purchased by members for as little as $3 at Walgreens or through Optum’s home delivery service. Walgreens will also give qualifying plan members a 20% discount.

The insurer also offered options for health savings accounts and plans with zero deductibles. Plans may offer extra benefits like vision and dental insurance, free access to online fitness classes, and the chance to win a $100 gift card.

On January 15, the time for open enrollment will close.

“The announcement of the ACA plans comes after the company announced its third-quarter earnings, which included $7.5 billion in earnings from operations, up from $5.7 billion in the third quarter of the previous year.

The insurer said the growth was driven by expansion in the number of people served throughout UnitedHealthcare and in the value-based care initiatives at Optum Health.

After the corporation released its third-quarter earnings, which included $7.5 billion in operating earnings, up from $5.7 billion in the third quarter of the previous year, the ACA plans were unveiled.

The insurer claimed that the value-based care initiatives at Optum Health and the increase in the number of patients served across UnitedHealthcare were what drove the growth.

Despite the growth, the Minnetonka, Minnesota-based payer has not yet reached the size of its prior presence on the exchanges, which was 34 states in 2016 before it scaled back because it was having trouble making a profit. Humana and Aetna were enthusiastic about the exchanges in 2018.

As exchange membership soars due to financial incentives, major payers have increased their ACA offers.

A year after announcing it would return to the exchanges after leaving them in 2017, CVS is extending its ACA presence to four new states in 2023. Three additional states will now be covered by Cigna.

With its third quarter results, UnitedHealthcare announced it would expand into four new states, although it did not say which ones. Due to its expansion ambitions and consistent membership, analysts at the time observed that UnitedHealthcare’s commercial business appeared to have steadied after experiencing a period of decline.

Brian Thompson, CEO of UnitedHealthcare, stated on the third quarter results call with investors in October that the payer’s expanded footprint for 2023 will enhance its reach from roughly 40% of the addressable market to nearly two-thirds by the beginning of the following year.

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