UnitedHealthcare, one of the biggest and most profitable health insurance companies in the U.S., announced at a shareholder meeting Nov. 19 that it may exit the Obamacare exchanges in two years, despite multi-billion dollar profits.
“In recent weeks, growth expectations for individual exchange participation have tempered industrywide," UnitedHealthcare CEO Stephen Hemsley stated, notes The Hill.
"Co-operatives have failed, and market data has signaled higher risks and more difficulties while our own claims experience has deteriorated, so we are taking this proactive step,” Hemsley added.
In 2014, the company's full-year profit was about $5.6 billion, a near-record, noted Modern Healthcare in January 2015.
For his part, Hemsley made over $66 million in 2014, reported the Star Tribune.
While it is true that many of the Obamacare co-ops have failed, The New York Times noted in October that the GOP-controlled Congress cut the co-ops' initial funding from $6 billion to $2.4 billion, and curtailed the Obama administration's ability to help co-op insurers during the first few years.
When the co-ops offered low prices for health plans, they took significant losses and the government money wasn't there to help them through.
Before Obamacare went into effect, UnitedHealthcare had a long history of denying health care claims (videos below).