smaller companies stopped offering health insurance

Despite the Obama administration’s claims that the new health reform law will expand  competition in the insurance market, the facts are bleak.  Already companies are pulling out of specific markets,  and some smaller companies have stopped offering health insurance altogether.

In September, Principal Financial Group, an Iowa-based insurance company that provides coverage to about 840,000 people, announced plans to stop selling health insurance.  According to Principal Financial Group, which caters to small businesses, its exit from the insurance market is in part because under the new health care reform, smaller insurers will have a harder time competing with bigger companies.  It has been reported that UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest health insurer in the United States by revenue, will renew the Principal policies as the contracts expire.   This does not sounds like increased competition!

Similarly, Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna Inc, Cigna Corp. and others recently announced that they will halt new “child-only” policies in California, Illinois, Florida, Connecticut and elsewhere because of mandates of the new health care reform law.   Cigna Corp., which will halt the policies in 10 states, stated that they made the decision to stop offering “child-only” policies, “to ensure that we can remain competitive in the 10 markets where we sell individual and family plans.”

With fewer insurance companies competing in the market, the market will be controlled by a few big insurance companies.  This will mean higher prices and fewer choices available to consumers.   Limiting insurance choices for Americans is the wrong way to lower the cost of health care.

We have just seen the beginning as this new health care reform law continues to be implemented.  I believe  that you will see fewer options, less competition and higher premium prices.

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One Response

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