Copyright

(c) 2014 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

WellPoint Sees Small Employers Dropping Health Coverage

Complicating the health insurance scene is the fact that injured workers who been denied workers' compensation benefits might have no safety net under Obamacare. As the system rolls out, in those situations, the states with slow disposition rates of workers' compensation claims will become fertile jurisdictions for workers' compensation reform to remedy this injustice. Today's post was shared by Kaiser Health News and comes from capsules.kaiserhealthnews.org


 1.

As the nation prepares to roll out the next phase of Obamacare, the second biggest medical insurer said Wednesday that it expects to lose members in health insurance plans sponsored by smaller employers.

“I would not call it an academic assumption at this point,” WellPoint chief financial officer Wayne DeVeydt said on a conference call with stock analysts. “We continue to see small group attrition accelerate even more as we get to the back half of the second quarter. And we expect that to continue.”

The lost customers aren’t just signing up with WellPoint rivals, according to DeVeydt. “Some of it is going into the uninsured ranks,” he said. At the same time, WellPoint expects membership gains in self-insured employer plans and in the kind of individual plans that will be sold in subsidized exchanges starting Oct.

The Obama administration recently postponed enforcement of a requirement that employers with 50 employees or more offer health coverage next year or face fines. But the delay in the “employer mandate” wasn’t the reason WellPoint gave for losing small-group members. Nor did executives respond directly to analyst’s questions about whether small employers are “dumping” workers into the subsidized individual market.

Rather, small employers have hesitated to buy coverage for next year because of uncertainties surrounding the online exchanges offering individual and small-group plans, the...

[Click here to see the rest of this article]