Filed Under:Health Insurance, Individual Health

UnitedHealth to be a tough exchange player

(AP photo)
(AP photo)

Consumer groups are pushing states to make the new health insurance exchanges "active purchasers" that push hard to bargain with carriers for lower rates and better products.

Stephen Hemsley, the president of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), assured Wall Street today that his company intends to be an "active seller" that will bargain hard with the exchange managers for fair treatment and rules that give the company the ability to earn a reasonable return on capital.

Individual and small-group health plans now generate about 10 percent of UnitedHealth's earnings, and the company sees no reason to expect the PPACA exchanges to have a dramatic effect, either positive or negative, on that contribution, Hemsley said.

Hemsley did express some skepticism about the idea that exchanges will be ready to go Oct. 1.

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Nichole Morford

Nichole Morford
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