Medicare = Big Bucks for Insurers ~ Can They Afford to Leave the Market?

Medicare = Big Bucks for Insurers ~ Can They Afford to Leave the Market?

When Congress debated cutting payments to Medicare Advantage plan sponsors, what did the sponsors threaten?  To get out of the Medicare market.  Yet can they really afford not to be in the Medicare market, especially given that 3 of the top Fortune 500 companies in 2011 were WellCare Health Plans, Humana, and Centene, all of which are health insurers with a high proportion of Medicare Advantage enrollees? WellCare’s share price has nearly doubled while Humana and Centene are up about 50%.

Here’s an article about profits these sponsors are earning.

If you have time, also watch the video with Dr. Donald Berwick on “How to heal health care” at the end of the article.

Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.