UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest U.S. health insurer, warned on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, that it might stop selling individual health plans on the Obamacare exchanges in 2017, citing weak enrollment and high medical costs for people who did sign up.
UnitedHealth‘s comments raise new questions about the viability of individual insurance exchanges set up under President Barack Obama’s health care law. Rival insurers Aetna Inc. and Anthem Inc. also said last month they were seeing too few people sign up, but have not signaled they would exit the business.
“We cannot sustain these losses,” UnitedHealth Chief Executive Stephen Hemsley said during a conference call with investors. “We can’t really subsidize a marketplace that doesn’t appear at the moment to be sustaining itself.”