Kaiser analysis finds UnitedHealth exit from Wisconsin would have little impact

A new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis finds little impact for insurer competition in Wisconsin if UnitedHealth Group leaves the state’s Healthcare.gov marketplace.

The insurer’s CEO, Stephen J. Hemsley, said yesterday on an earnings call it would leave most of the 34 states where it’s participating in the exchanges, only remaining in a “handful of states.”

But since Wisconsin has 16 carriers participating in the exchange, it wouldn’t have a drastic impact on competition, the Kaiser analysis found. Only one county of the 56 Wisconsin counties UnitedHealth participates in would be left with one insurer if UnitedHealth leaves.

That compares to all of the counties in Kansas and Oklahoma, 90 percent of Alabama’s counties and at least 60 percent of the counties in Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee.

And only seven Wisconsin counties would drop from having three to two insurers, impacting 2 percent of the nearly 240,000 people on the state exchange.

— By Polo Rocha,