United Health, Cigna Differ On How Plans Will Change After Exchanges Begin
United Health's CEO Stephen Hemsley said he expects companies to keep offering benefits instead of pushing people to health exchanges created in 2014 by the federal government, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. "Under the law passed in March, companies still face costs for employees' coverage even if they buy it through the exchanges. Keeping their own plans will give employers the best chance of controlling medical expenses, Hemsley said in a presentation at an investor conference in New York today." At the same conference, Cigna CEO David Cordani said it's unclear how companies will respond to the law. "Some may decide it is cheaper to let people buy on their own through the purchasing exchanges, he said. The online marketplaces open in 2014. Employers will spend the next three to five years weighing options, Cordani said" (Nussbaum, 6/3).
Dow Jones Newswires: "'I believe the employer-sponsored space will change over the next five years and some employers will indeed opt out,' Cordani said Thursday at a Sanford C. Bernstein investor conference. 'Exactly who opts out and why is yet to be determined.' Employers that believe having a benefit strategy is integral to their business would be among the last to opt out, if they did so, Cordani predicted. Those that view health insurance as a commodity may drop coverage earlier, he said" (Wisenberg Brin, 6/3).