Market failure in individual, small business health insurance market segments forces insurer to act
Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini reveals to Sarah Kliff of The Washington Post’s Wonkblog that a strategic review Aetna undertook in 2005 showed the individual health insurance market segment failing and the small group segment in decline. Market failure can be a strong motivator to act — and will remain a mortal threat notwithstanding how the U.S. Supreme Court opines this week on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Some excerpts from Kliff’s post:
“We saw an individual market in inexorable decline and, on the small group side, fewer were offering benefits and costs were rising. We knew we had to change something,” Bertolini said.
Aetna has a strong business reason to create a cheaper insurance product: Namely, getting more people to buy it. That motivation stays in place regardless of what happens with the Supreme Court this month.
“We’re really working right now on the underlying cost of health care,” he says. “These investments we’re making are about finding a different way to make models work. We’re committed to fixing that, and feel like we need to fix that.”