What are we to make of this?
First it was execs at UnitedHealth Care, based in Minneapolis, who defied conventional thinking by announcing this morning they’ll retain most health care reforms even if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Health Care Act, aka Obama Care, this month.
Now, about four hours later, Louisville-based Humana officials have just released a statement that they’re voluntarily retaining most of Obamacare reforms including lifetime dollar claims limits and covering dependents.
So, between the two, about 20 percent of Americans who have health care insurance coverage – about 115 million people – apparently will see no changes even if the conservative activist Roberts Court strikes down the reform, which it’s expected to do.
Which is nice.
But these are not two social-liberal, not-for profits. UnitedHealth Group is the No. 1 insurer in the U.S. ranked by revenue, and Humana is No. 4 both by revenue and market share!
Most analysts are speculating that both companies have data indicating that though many Americans say they oppose health care reforms on a political level, at the same time, they want to keep most of the changes.
It will be worth watching endless hours of political ads to see how both sides – President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney – of the 2012 presidential campaign spin this competition to preserve Obamacare!
Here’s what Humana is keeping per a news release:
Humana to Voluntarily Preserve Key Health Care Reform Protections
Pledge maintains stability and peace of mind for Humana health plan members
With a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act – also known as the federal health care reform law – expected later this month, Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) issued the following statement:
Humana has long said that all Americans deserve affordable, quality health care and that our nation needs a health care system that works for everyone. Regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the federal health care reform law, Humana is committed to keeping in place important patient protections contained in the law, including health care reform’s restrictions on lifetime limits, rescission standards, appeals and external review processes, coverage for dependents on family plans to age 26, and preventive services with no cost sharing.
Humana believes its health plan members should have the peace of mind of knowing the company embraces and will maintain these common-sense provisions that add stability and security to health care coverage.
Specifically, Humana will maintain these health care reform provisions:
- Humana will not impose lifetime dollar limits on policies. Humana believes that health plan members should not have to worry that their coverage might run out when they need it most.
- Humana will maintain the health care reform law’s rescission standard for its individual insurance policies. The company will not rescind (retroactively cancel) individual health insurance policies except in cases of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of material facts by an applicant for insurance. Humana has long believed that when you buy an individual health plan, you should not have to worry that it might be cancelled. Individuals whose policies are rescinded will continue to have available independent third party review of the rescission decision.
- Humana will continue to provide a clear and simple process for appealing claims decisions, as well as the option for health plan members to have their cases reviewed by independent review organizations. Humana believes in providing a clear, timely and accessible avenue for health plan members to appeal and resolve disagreements.
- Humana members will continue to receive important preventive care services with no out-of-pocket cost sharing. Humana believes preventive care is a valuable investment in the health and well-being of its members.
- Humana will continue to permit dependent family members to remain covered on their parents’ policies up to age 26. Humana has long believed in giving families the coverage options they need and deserve.
- Humana’s pledge to preserve these protections applies to its fully insured commercial health insurance policies. The company will also work with its employer clients that self-insure their health benefits to emphasize the importance of the continuity of policies and coverage.