Feds to showcase health insurer ‘success stories’

The Obama administration is holding a national health insurers conference next month to showcase “success stories” under the Affordable Care Act at a time of uncertainty for the industry.

Federal health officials have invited a half-dozen major plans – including Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida – to share strategies with other companies that have struggled under the law.

The event will take place on June 9, a time when many companies are setting their rates for the upcoming year. 

The administration is trying to ease concerns from insurance companies that have been spooked by moves like UnitedHealthCare’s abrupt decision to pull out of the ObamaCare marketplaces earlier this year.

Several of those insurers are already warning of double digit rate increases in 2017 – notices that could go out to customers right before the fall elections.

The administration has repeatedly said companies will need to adjust pricing and other practices to find their fit in the ObamaCare marketplaces. In the announcement of the conference, Marketplace CEO Kevin Counihan reiterated that the marketplace is “still very young.”  

“It’s also no surprise that the pace of adaptation has varied across issuers,” he said.

The forum will give those companies the chance to “discuss novel techniques that may help companies offer better health care coverage at lower cost,” according to a release from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Monday.