Angela Braly, president and CEO of WellPoint, said the issue of transparency is “a particularly constructive place to start.”
While no agreement on posting rate requests online was reached, Stephen Hemsley, president and CEO of UnitedHealth Group, said “I do expect there will be some follow-up from the secretary.” Both Braly and Hemsley spoke to reporters on a conference call after the meeting, which the CEOs of Aetna, Cigna Corp. and Health Care Service Corp. also attended.
Obama stopped by the meeting in the Roosevelt Room, and Braly and Hemsley said the discussion with the president centered around costs and the individual insurance market, which is experiencing the largest rate increases. “He was open to input as to constructive ideas around cost,” Hemsley said.
Obama presented the executives with a letter from an Ohio woman whose rate is going up 40%, according to the White House.
No agreement was reached on postponing rate increases or reducing them. “Rate increases can’t be looked at independently from cost drivers,” Braly said, adding that holding down rates in the short-term could cause “more rate shock in the future.”
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