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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

UnitedHealth Group's retreat from the Obamacare exchanges will reduce its premium revenue by $4 billion this year, the health insurance conglomerate said in an annual securities filing Wednesday.

  • UnitedHealth will lose 1 million individual-market members.
  • But the $4 billion reduction in premium dollars only represents about 3% of UnitedHealth's premium revenue.
  • The company bailed on nearly all of its Obamacare plans, going from 34 states in 2016 to just three for 2017, after it lost more than $1 billion.

The exits were surprising when they were first announced in November 2015, considering UnitedHealth executives previously called the exchanges a "strong, viable growth market." But UnitedHealth made costly errors, such as miscalculating premium prices and not understanding the health needs of people in the individual market.

But wait, there's more: UnitedHealth also acknowledged in the filing that the Trump administration and Republicans want to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and "any changes to this law could materially impact our operating results, require us to revise the ways in which we conduct business or put us at risk for loss of business." That's a subtle reminder that UnitedHealth has an army of its own lobbyists in Washington.

Go deeper

Senate Democrats reach deal on extending unemployment insurance

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Democrats struck a deal Friday evening to extend unemployment insurance in President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package after deliberating for most of the day, per a Senate aide.

Why it matters: The Senate can now resume voting on other amendments to the broader rescue bill.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

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Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.