According to the article, the growth years are the price goes up for Part D coverage, participants will be looking to other carriers to continue...with Medicare suggesting the same for participants...perhaps with the price increase this is another way to discourage less profitable participants..and it would not be too surprising to see this trend move to other carriers as they evaluate their Part D provisions...BD 

In a stunning setback, the giant health insurer revealed late Thursday that it could soon lose roughly 15% of its booming Medicare Part D business. Because of the high price of UnitedHealth's new Part D plans, which exceed the benchmark in more than half the regions where the company operates, Medicare will now direct some of its poorest customers elsewhere.

Customers must now choose other carriers -- such as Humana or WellPoint if they wish to keep their government-subsidized, no-premium Part D benefits. Financial experts were rattled by the news.

Still, the financial hit could prove modest. Even if UnitedHealth loses all 650,000 Part D customers being directed to cheaper plans, the company should see its 2008 profits -- currently projected at $3.96 a share -- drop by just a couple of pennies a share.  But she fears that other seniors, originally wooed by AARP's powerful endorsement of UnitedHealth, could seek out cheaper plans as well.

Medicare Mess Hits UnitedHealth - News & Analysis - Health Care - HUM - UNH


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