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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  April 23, 2016 7:00am-7:21am EDT

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entrepreneurship. and civility in politics with carolyn lukensmeyer. ♪ host: the nation's largest health insurance company announced this week it will pull out of most of the public marketplace is treated by the affordable care act. united health care says it's on track to lose $650 million this year. they has signed of nearly 800,000 people. this decision will affect primarily those in the south and midwest. experts are still sorting out with this means. whether insurance will leave. we want your input. we are putting up the phone lines to callers enrolled in one of the affordable care act's plans. what was your experience like? call in and let us know.
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if you live in the eastern and central time zone, call us at (202) 748-8000. melton and pacific time zones, dial (202) 748-8001. you can also send us your thoughts over twitter. or you can leave us a comment on facebook. again, we are looking to talk to people who are enrolled in one of the affordable care act plans. we want to hear your thoughts and experiences. let's start with this map. it shows how the exchanges are set up. you can see that 27 states use a federally facilitated the place. most of the country relies on the federal government to run their health exchanges. statesghtly darker blue have a state partnership with the federal government. those who are the turquoise color our state-based
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marketplaces. the darkest color are those that use a federally supported state-based marketplace. new mexico, nevada and oregon. kaiser health news reports the story about united health care deciding to pull out of most of the states that it operates in currently. here is the article. "a handful of health insurance exchanges in 2017, down from 34 states this year. a spokesman confirmed that nevada and virginia would be among the states where united health care will retain a presence. in the past week the company said it would be georgia, michigan and arkansas. warns inlth group november it was considering quitting most marketplaces because of escalating losses on the obamacare plan. $475ompany said it lost million last year from the marketplace plan, and was on target to lose $650 million in
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2016. it goes on to say the united plan would severely limit competition in part or all of about 10 states. mostly in the south and midwest according to analysis from the kaiser family foundation. that could mean higher premiums, plus only one or two insurers. unless another company enters the markets. it would be left with only one insurer if united health care pulls out. the obama administration officials played down the impact of united health announcement, saying the company was not the lowest cost plan and many of the biggest. dates at least 95% of the populations of florida, illinois and ohio live in a county where they can find a cheaper plan this year according to the obama administration. the kaiser family foundation also released a report that
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looked at what might happen if united health care left all the states in which it currently participates and currently offers plans. if united health care follows through on the threat to quit the health insurance thantplaces in 2016, more one million consumers will be left with a single health plan option according to a forecast released earlier this week. that's if united health care were to leave all of the state in which it currently operates. it will still operate in just a handful. united health care's pullout means in the south and midwest, did most of the 34 states where united operates this year the effect would be modest for premiums and the number of plan options. and the past week state officials have confirmed that united health list pulling out of marketplaces in michigan and parsley leaving georgia and atlanta, chicago.
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harkin house began operating this year and is expected to remain. big is undefined that more than one in four counties where participates nationally will see a drop from two insurers to one enrolleesllion would go from having a choice of three insurers to two, and another one million would go from a choice of two to one. that's a report from the fine -- kaiser family foundation. we have on the line and reporter for kaiser health news services. he's a senior correspondent. are you on the line? caller: yes, i am here. host: can you explain to us what united health care's announcement means? caller: sure. united health care's largest health insurance company in the united states for all types of
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insurance. medicare, medicaid, as well as the obamacare insurance. insuranceinto the exchanges a little bit later than most insurers. they did not participate much in the first year of 2014. they wanted to wait and see how things would play out. they came in and a big way in 2015 and 2016. they answered in 34 states to do business. they lost money. 2015, thest year, estimated they were this close to $500 million. they thought it would get worse this year. week theynced this did not want to continue losing money. they were going to make the decision to pull out of those states. a lot of people think it will have some impact in those states where they only have one insurer. there is concern that if the one
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insurer leaves, there will be more freedom to raise prices and narrow some of the divider networks. mentioned in the analysis by the foundation, in most parts of the country the effect of be pretty modest. there is still a choice. even with -- where there is one company offering insurance, those companies like blue cross, still offer many different plans to choose from. is united camen people werebelieved sick or had higher health care costs. that was expected when the exchanges first opened up. there were a lot of people that joined who had not had health insurance for 11 years. there was the expectation that the first people to join would be a little sicker.
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it would work out within several years and never be more healthy people to come in. united decided they do not want to wait for several years. they wanted to pull out now. phil, can you tell us about what you know about which states might be affected? georgia, michigan and arkansas we know for sure united health care will be exiting. what do you know about other states? caller: the easier way to look at is which states to they remain in. the states they have confirmed they will stay in our virginia, nevada and new york. anyou mentioned they have harkin health -- a new harkin health. it operates in atlanta and chicago. as far as we know that is it. there may be one or two other states remain at.
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-- they may add. they have been slow in confirming the states. right now it's just a handful of states they are remaining in. host: you mentioned that united health care did not want to wait around and see if they can make money on the affordable care act exchanges. what are you hearing from other insurers? are they able to turn a profit on these plans. how long likely be willing to if not? caller: so far united is ely major national player that has announced they are going to leave multiple states at once. all the other players for the most part have decided they will either stay or expand to a few more states. right now united is the only player doing this. it is next. -- mixed. the market is a difficult market for insurers. this virtually no -- especially
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now. before the affordable care act plans could take and choose if they wanted to write a policy. if the planner thought the person applying was to bigger risk, too sick or two old or whatever, they cannot write the policy. the affordable care act changed that. they required insurers to cover all clients. to buy there is a big demand for health insurance. host: is this a decision that is unique to this company? is this something more broadly about the effectiveness of president obama's health care plan? caller: right now this is just united. there is no guarantee that other plans are not in a follow suit. right now it's just united. about 750,000has
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people that it insurers under obamacare through the exchanges. nationally there is close to 13 million people signed up. it's a big chunk, but still about 7% or 8% of the total. so far we are three years and obamacare. it has to radically lowered the rate of uninsured in the country by many millions of people. so far so good. it definitely is a hiccup for the plan. the obama administration is hoping other insurers don't follow suit. this would be a much bigger deal in this was many of the blue cross blue shield plans, which writes most of the individual health insurance. if they were dropping out a mass it would be a much more dramatic effect. host: senior correspondent for kaiser health news. thank you for taking the time
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this morning. let's go ahead and turn to our phone lines. we are your phone calls on your experience with the affordable care act. how is it working for you? what might you change? as it been successful? the first color is from sarasota, florida. thatr: i just want to say i think it works. i work for walmart. i have insurance. i see a lot of associates that -- as long as i don't get fined. i have learned that 20 million and then some. it has saved their lives or they have insurance now. 20 million never uninsured -- that were uninsured.
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originally from texas, the border. a lot of people go to mexico. they go to canada because medicine is cheaper. miles is ami, 90 different country where health care is free. they put profit first and human lives secondary. host: did you have health care before you signed up for the affordable care act? caller: no. before obama i was not interested because i can barely survive with a dollars. now making nine dollars. supposedly they will raise it one more to $10 soon. whoopty do, $10 per hour. what is youren,
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experience with the affordable care act? caller: good morning. my experience has been wonderful. i want to say this. united health care is a piece of crap insurance company and they should fall down. host: do you use unitedhealth group? caller: no. they are not good. they get a f rating and women's health care. i have blue cross blue shield hmo silver plan. that doesn'tanyone want united health care, get off of it. talk to a navigator and they will put you in a decent plan. most of the people getting screwed by united health care should do a class action. -- suit. host: how much are your premiums? caller: $65 a month. i get full coverage, including vision. i have blue cross blue shield. started out with a different plan that was $75.
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they went up triple because they moved everybody to another plan. i just called my navigator. i called the exchange. they said yeah, that can happen sometimes. they moved me to a better plan. $10 or less. my copayments are $10. that's why i don't understand what people say they're copayments are high. immediate off your job insurance and go directly to the exchange. talk to a navigator. they will put you on a plan to can afford. people need to understand how this ata act works. the media needs to get off its butt and let everyone know what's going on. c-span will tell the truth. you need to have the navigators on to explain how to navigate through the problems. the insurance companies need to be reined in. host: we hear your thoughts this morning. you can call in and share your experiences. we want to talk to people enrolled in what is affordable care act plans. the numbers to call, we are
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dividing them by region for this 45 minutes. if you live in the eastern or central time zones. if you live in the mountain porpoises -- or specific -- or pacific timezone, (202) 748-8001 . tweet. also weekend reader comments on facebook as well. host: jim from illinois? i have united health care. they went and covered my prescriptions. they would not cover my wife prescriptions. they were not cover my prescriptions. oct somebodyying d needs to police these insurance companiesor. . it is terrible. i was paying $400 a month and that was not enough for them. they wanted me to pay more. the problem is, like i said,
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they are playing doctor. how can an insurance company tell you when you can have when your doctor prescribes a medicine for you? host: you were on united health care's plans of the affordable care act? caller: correct. i had to get off because i drew too much of my 401(k). they can't that his income. which i earned over 30 years of working. host: who do you have now for your health insurance? caller: i dropped out. i can't afford it. they want $12,000. they will be to pay it all back. host: was unitedhealth group the cheapest plan available to you? caller: yes, for this year it was. host: jim from illinois. our next caller is robert from fort lauderdale. you are not enrolled but you say
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you work in the health care industry. caller: that is correct. tell us a little bit about what you have to say. all, the reason these companies are losing money -- i because what concerns them. they are losing money and they will drop off and eventually we will get single care once they failed. the reason is no one understands that you see a subsidy to a premium. that is what the client sees. they don't see that there are two other subsidies that, to their plan from the federal government. there is one hardly paying anything who previously called, she doesn't know her plan is being subsidized by all the people who are not and are paying hefty, hefty premiums. herexample, she will see
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credit to a premium. maybe it's as much as $400 through your premium. then there is another subsidy that goes into -- server deductible is lowered. that's another $200. then there is subsidies and another subsidy for her lower co-pay. the fed is sending all this money to the insurance company. even then the insurance company tunesing money to the of millions and billions. it's not affordable to those so low on the total poll that they get to pay peanuts for their insurance while others are paying thousands. identical, one is paying $60 and the other person is paying over $1500. 1050.
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a few comments from twitter. human livesweets " should not be a business under any economic or social system." "united health care is limited on what they can charge. they put profit over patient care." here is a little bit more information from the kaiser family foundation on the impact of an exit by united health care in several states. it tells about alabama and the impact there. about two thirds of enrollees go from having a choice of two insurers to a single insurers. two to choose from. 43% ofsissippi, enrollees and 50 counties with dropped to just a single insurer and the remaining 57% in 32 counties would still have two. in arkansas, they would drop from four to three insurers.