Another health plan joins the California wall-of-shame, as Covered California announces the departure of UnitedHealthcare. Existing members can continue on through December 31, 2016, allowing them time to find a new plan during the Fall 2016 Open Enrollment.
According to Covered California, UnitedHealthcare’s presence in the Covered California individual marketplace is small, at one tenth of one percent. Yet the impact will be greatly felt in some Northern California regions, where only three plans are available to consumers.
Health plan consolidation is already contributing to the lack of viable options in California. For example, in 2005 United Health Group purchased PacifiCare, which had previously acquired FHP, who had acquired TakeCare in 1994.
Some long-time market stakeholders fear “consolidation” plays into the hands of California legislators who are pushing for a single, government-run plan. They wonder if some legislators go beyond “cheering” for the Affordable Act’s demise, and would stoop so low as to sabotage its successful implementation? Are there more democrats than republicans, hoping for Obamacare’s demise? Really?
UnitedHealthcare Regions in California
|Region 1||Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yuba|
|Region 9||Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz|
|Region 11||Fresno, Kings, Madera|
|Region 12||San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura|
|Region 13||Mono, Inyo, Imperial|
As the individual marketplace continues to deteriorate, the small group market has gained a firmer footing, including stable PPO networks and easier participation rules with Kaiser and traditional PPO plans. Is it time to review available small group plans? Reserve your appointment early for Open Enrollment, which begins this November. Find local assistance in San Jose, Santa Clara and the San Francisco bay area or via telephone, throughout Northern and Southern California..
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