Oct 17, 2017

Insurance giant bullish on Trump’s health plans

UnitedHealth Group is excited for short-term plans. AP Photo/Jim Mone, File

UnitedHealth Group, the country's biggest insurer, said it's eager to sell the cheaper, less comprehensive health care plans at the center of President Trump's health care agenda, Bloomberg reported this morning.

Why it matters: It's no surprise that insurers would be excited to sell the kinds of policies Trump is promoting, which don't have to cover much and therefore appeal mainly to healthy customers. UnitedHealth, like several other large insurers, has already pulled back significantly from the Affordable Care Act's exchanges, where coverage must be more comprehensive.

What they're saying: According to Bloomberg, UnitedHealth executives said on a call with investors today that they're "excited" about the kinds of insurance plans Trump promoted in his recent executive order.

  • That order expanded access to short-term plans, which cover few services and aren't subject to most of the ACA's benefit mandates. Trump will let people keep that coverage for a year. President Obama had limited it to three months.
  • Experts fear those policies will pull healthy people out of the ACA's risk pool, leading to higher premiums for those who remain.
  • Trump's order also expanded access to association health plans, which are regulated like large employers' policies.
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