Where UnitedHealth leads, other payers appear to follow

Though UnitedHealth has struggled with its Affordable Care Act exchange business, the country's largest payer has also played a powerful rule in influencing other insurers to change the way they do business, according to an article from Investopedia.

According to the article, both Aetna and Humana have benefitted by imitating United's successful efforts to embrace the shift in business priorities brought on by the Affordable Care Act. For example, United has increasingly invested in its healthcare services arm, Optum, and Aetna followed suit by initiating its own efforts to move from a fee-for-service model and toward a fee-for value payment model.

Following United's lead, Aetna has also left America's Health Insurance Plans to conduct its own advocacyInvestopedia notes. 

Humana, meanwhile, invested time and money into a study of its employees by tracking those who participated in its new wellness program. HumanaVitality encourages employees to be proactive with their health and wellness, and a recent study from the insurer found the program has already reduced unscheduled absences and claims costs. This showed Humana that a pay-for-results system encourages healthier Americans while also boosting its business, Investopedia says.

Many in the industry are also closely watching United'ss primary-care-focused subsidiary, Harken Health. Harken stands out because of its value-based business model, and it will continue participation in some exchanges that UnitedHealth has left, FierceHealthPayer has reported.

To learn more:
- here is the article