Bill Boyles writes in his HealthPlan Markets newsletter –
Health plan chains (multiple insurance companies with a single owner) gave notice that they will not even bother to apply to participate in health exchanges in half of all states. The revelation at investor conferences is a warning that despite all the political verbiage most private carriers do not need (or want) a large book of business in the small group and individual markets, and have no intention of losing money to sell rich benefits to people with higher-than-average underwriting risk. The timing is no coincidence: many states are still deciding how much price competition they want to impose on the assumption that they will have lots of plans to pick from. But it’s bad news for Blues plans and Wellpoint, often the carriers of last resort.