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Obamacare's Golden Opportunity

Obamacare's implementation next year is coming on fast, and health insurers across the nation are racing to prepare for health reform's arrival. With millions of previously uninsured Americans now facing a choice between purchasing health insurance or paying a fine, leading insurers could see a bounty of new customers come to their doorsteps. However, not everyone's happy about the process: Top insurance firms Unitedhealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) , Aetna (NYSE: AET  ) , and Cigna (NYSE: CI  ) all announced on Wednesday that they will not participate in Covered California's health care exchange for the Golden State right away, according to a widely circulated report by the Los Angeles Times.

With millions in California alone expected to seek health insurance, this could be a major missed opportunity for these insurers, despite the fear of rising premiums for customers that could hurt business. However, it's a potential boon for Wellpoint (NYSE: ANTM  ) , America's second-largest insurer and a major player in California's individual market through its Anthem Blue Cross subsidiary, that now faces less competition for new members. Wellpoint grew its membership base by 1.9 million members last year, or around 5.5%, but scoring a big portion of California's currently uninsured population could make 2014 a banner year for this firm in the Golden State alone.

Who's making the right move here? In the following video, Motley Fool contributor Dan Carroll and health care analyst Max Macaluso discuss the ramifications of this move and what investors should think of Wellpoint's opportunity.

Obamacare will undoubtedly have far-reaching effects. The Motley Fool’s new free report, “Everything You Need to Know About Obamacare,” lets you know how your health insurance, your taxes, and your portfolio will be impacted. Click here to read more. 

Read/Post Comments (13) | Recommend This Article (7)

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  • Report this Comment On May 26, 2013, at 2:38 PM, peterwolf wrote:

    The 'Golden State'. What a laugh. More like the 'Folding State'. Sky-high unemployment and taxes. The nations' worst business reputation. The average age of the Democrats running the place is in the mid 70's. Which is same as the decade that formed their political beliefs at a Grateful Dead concert in San Francisco.

  • Report this Comment On May 26, 2013, at 3:00 PM, Broke4Barack wrote:

    Yippie!!.....we're all Broke for Barack now......and coo-coo for coca puffs too.

  • Report this Comment On May 26, 2013, at 3:03 PM, Broke4Barack wrote:

    I want an election do-over please.

  • Report this Comment On May 26, 2013, at 3:16 PM, Dadw5boys wrote:

    What will Americans do now if they are paying something towards medical care and not being hounded into the grave over an illness ?

    How will they deal with being able to get a better job because no one ruined their credit over a medical bill ?

    Will Hospitals still be able to transfer bills to their collection units and run to the State for Medicaid Funds before the ink is dry on the collections notices ?

    Will Doctors like those on videos be able to scam Medicare with useless unneeded test for eveyone that walks in the door claiming self protection ?

  • Report this Comment On May 26, 2013, at 3:19 PM, Dadw5boys wrote:

    Wellmont around here uses a lot of money to invest in Realestate making claims of building a Hosptal to get Commerical Zoning when other could not then selling it off quickly as Commerical Property if they can.

    I live across from one of those property and I raised hell over their ability to get our Local Government to rezone when the family who had owned it for over 110 years could not !

  • Report this Comment On May 26, 2013, at 3:35 PM, Acttorneyatliar wrote:

    Key point: Insurance premiums for middle class Americans are going to go up. But, one problem that loomed as large as having the poor being uninsured and using emergency rooms as their clinics was the already exorbitant costs of insurance premiums for those of us who do work and pay for our insurance. So, if our premiums are going to rise again just because we also have to pay to insure the poor, I would just assume have them continue to use our emergency rooms as their clinics, thank you very much. Who voted for the nit wit after whom this impending "trainwreck" is named?!!!

  • Report this Comment On May 26, 2013, at 4:12 PM, ChrisMcPhail wrote:

    Obama's List of Accomplishments

    First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.

    First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in.

    First President to preside over a cut to the credit-rating of the United States.

    First President to violate the War Powers Act.

    First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

    First President to defy a Federal Judge’s court order to cease implementing the Health Care Reform Law.

    First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party.

    First President to spend a trillion dollars on ‘shovel-ready’ jobs when there was no such thing as ‘shovel-ready’ jobs.

    First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.

    First President to by-pass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat.

    First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the U.S., including those with criminal convictions.

    First President to demand a company hand-over $20 billion to one of his political appointees.

    First President to terminate America’s ability to put a man in space-defunded NASA.

    First President to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.

    First President to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it.

    First President to threaten insurance companies if they publicly spoke-out on the reasons for their rate increases.

    First President to tell a major manufacturing company (Boeing) in which State they are allowed to locate a factory.

    First President to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN).

    First President to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.

    First President to fire an inspector general of Ameri-corps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.

    First President to appoint 45 czars to replace elected officials in his office.

    First President to golf more than 73 separate times in his first two and a half years in office, 91 to date & counting.

    First President to hide his medical, educational and travel records.

    First President to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing NOTHING to earn it.

    First President to not know how to properly pronounce Navy ‘corpsman’.

    First President to go on multiple global ‘apology tours’-including bowing to foreign rulers.

    First President to go on more than 17 lavish vacations, including date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends; paid for by the taxpayer.

    First President to say that America was not a Christian nation.

    First President to have 22 personal servants (taxpayer funded) just for his wife.

    First President to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000 a year at taxpayer expense.

  • Report this Comment On May 26, 2013, at 4:38 PM, doco177 wrote:

    1. Millions are and will lose the insurance Obama promised they could keep. Because ObamaCare forces employers to offer expensive Cadillac plans but also offers the option of paying a fine for not providing health insurance that can be cheaper than providing it, between seven and twenty million Americans are likely to lose their health insurance coverage according to the Congressional Budget Office. The original estimate was closer to four million.

    2. The cost of healthcare premiums is about to further skyrocket. Premium costs have already exploded, but that is a slow-motion explosion. In the near future, we could see costs double or worse. Naturally, these costs will hit an already burdened middle class hardest.

    3. Lost jobs. Lost jobs.

    The Federal Reserve's March beige book on economic activity noted that businesses "cited the unknown effects of the Affordable Care Act as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff."

    Meanwhile, human resources consulting firm Adecco found that half of the small businesses it surveyed in January either plan to cut their workforce, not hire new workers, or shift to part-time or temporary help because of ObamaCare.

    4. Potential doctor shortages that will mean rationing: The healthcare industry is already a bureaucratic quagmire. ObamaCare is about to add steroids. As the profession becomes tyrannized by government, the talented people currently practicing medicine plan to get out sooner than expected. Who knows how many will choose not to get in.

    Doctor shortages are what lead to the nightmare known as rationed care. Here's an unsettling example already being practiced.

    5. Somewhere around $800 billion in tax increases will hit America's middle class. This added burden will not only further oppress a middle class already reeling from a drop in wages over the last few years, but could damage the overall economy.

    6. Inflation, the cruelest tax on the poor. When businesses get socked with added costs brought about by higher taxes and burdensome government mandates, they pass those cost along to the consumer in the form of higher prices.

    7. Added bureaucracy. Even those Obama lapdogs over at the Washington Post's Wonk Blog are admitting that applying for health care is about to get more burdensome than the byzantine paperwork involved in buying a home.

    8. To cut costs or to avoid having to provide insurance, workers on the economic margins are already losing hours, which means a lower paycheck. There are a million sad stories in ObamaVille; here are just a few of them.

    9. ObamaCare is projected to add $6.2 TRILLION to a deficit the GAO has already declared "unsustainable." That's "trillion" with a "t".

    10. More taxes than currently estimated are likely to hit because of situations like this one.

    Three years ago, Obama, Democrats, and his media lied to us about cutting the cost of health care, being able to keep our insurance, and not taxing the middle class.

    Today, those lies and what ObamaCare is and will do to the working and middle class are the biggest untold story in America.

    The govt becoming more involved in health care is the reason the costs have increased. So...Govt creates a crisis, then provides a solution that comes at the expense of liberty and freedom, costs trillions, and by most accounts won't solve the problem but in fact make it far worse.Corruption, incompetence, disregard of the Constitution, and above all lying are integral to the way that this country is being run.

  • Report this Comment On May 26, 2013, at 10:17 PM, tristinstone wrote:

    is it 2016 yet?

  • Report this Comment On May 26, 2013, at 10:18 PM, tristinstone wrote:

    The president has the power to create laws, like Obama care? The next president has the power to create laws also= ban Obama care!

  • Report this Comment On May 26, 2013, at 10:22 PM, tristinstone wrote:

    When you have a man who was raised with many years listening to people preach to hate the white man, to hate people of success, no matter how lazy you are, you deserve what everyone else has? that god doesnt exist? what were you sheep thinking when you voted for this inept worthless anti-American thug?

  • Report this Comment On May 26, 2013, at 11:17 PM, TerryFlowers wrote:

    It's time for HR 676. HR 676 would mean healthcare freedom, justice and equality. As long as we depend on the private for-profit insurance industry to finance our healthcare we will pay too much for too little. Healthcare is not suitable for a free-market system. The average citizen has little choice/power when making decisions regarding their care...the power is concentrated in the insurance industry. This industry skims off over 30% of our healthcare dollars for CEO salaries/perks/bonuses, shareholder profits, lobbying, campaign contributions, marketing, advertising, etc. HR 676 would recover these funds and use them to provide financing for our citizens' healthcare needs. Overhead for healthcare providers would be greatly reduced. Employers would no longer have the burden of providing healthcare benefits. We would pay a little more in taxes, but would save more with the elimination of healthcare premiums. A win for all but the healthcare insurance industry.

  • Report this Comment On May 27, 2013, at 10:16 AM, saby111 wrote:

    Dear Terry (above), your assessment that Health Insurance companies gauge the public is a farce. If you did your research you would know that 80-90% of all Health Insurance is provided by employers who are self-insured. That means employers are paying their own claims and are not utilizing fully insured plans from any insurance companies. The BIG insurance companies are used to administer claims only (i.e. - they are the fiduciary). They look at the claim and decide based on what the employer tells them whether to pay the claim or make the employee apply their deductible first. In the end, the way you reduce healthcare costs is to reduce disease burden not buy healthcare cheaper. Individuals need to take responsibility for their own health by choosing healthy behaviors over smoking, eating unhealthy foods, consuming alcohol & drugs, exercise and more sleep. Simple things that have been proven to bring down disease burden immediately and with profound reductions in costs to all. NOTHING in Obamacare addresses the implementation of real focus on creating a system of healthy choices, with carrots and sticks to help people get healthy so we don't need a system which is the most expensive in the world and in the end doesn't make people healthier.

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