Feds tout health insurance exchange successes as some question viability

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday held a conference in Washington that gave health insurance industry executives who have found success selling health plans to individuals via the online exchange to outline their strategies and challenges at a time when some major insurers are questioning the viability of plans sold on HealthCare.gov and the state-run exchanges.

In April, UnitedHealth Group Inc. announced it would stop offering exchange plans in many states next year, including Missouri, citing lower-than-expected enrollment and lack of profit on exchange plans. The following month, Humana announced plans to leave some states, though it hasn’t said which ones.

At Thursday’s event, however, federal officials and insurance executives said the exchange system, also called the marketplace, is working, but will need to adapt to continue to be successful.

With the aim of bolstering the marketplace, the U.S. government released proposed regulations on Wednesday, the day before the event. Proposals include slashing the duration of short-term insurance to less than three months and steering consumer age 65 and older into Medicare plans.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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