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Large Health Insurers Compete to Serve Poor and Elderly

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Large Health Insurers Compete to Serve Poor and Elderly

August 23, 2012

In an article reported by CNN Money, several large health insurers have recently announced acquisitions of smaller insurers that serve largely populations reliant on Medicaid, Medicare, or both. Some consumer advocates see the eagerness of larger insurers to serve dual eligible patients as a red flag, concerned that bigger insurers face less accountability, which can lead to delays or denials of benefits.

Currently, fifteen states are participating in demonstration programs that allow managed care companies to care for dual eligibles, which may expand to 26 states. That large insurers expect to make money by taking on patients affected by these demonstrations suggests to some that they may not have a realistic perception of the amount and quality of care required by the dual eligible population.