Report Shows Big Insurance Profiting Massively From Medicare Privatization
The seven largest for-profit insurance companies in the U.S. have seen their combined revenues from taxpayer-backed programs grow 500% over the past decade.
In a report from Wendell Potter, a former insurance executive who now advocates for systemic healthcare reform, government programs are now the source of roughly 90% of the health plan revenues of Humana, Centene, and Molina.
Over the past decade, Potter found, the seven top for-profit insurance companies in the U.S.—the three mentioned above plus UnitedHealth, Cigna, CVS/Aetna, and Elevance—have seen their combined revenues from taxpayer-backed programs soar by 500%, reaching $577 billion in 2022 compared to $116.3 billion in 2012.
“The big insurers now manage most states’ Medicaid programs—and make billions of dollars for shareholders doing so—but most of the insurers have found that selling their privately operated Medicare replacement plans is even more financially rewarding for their shareholders,” Potter wrote. “In addition to their focus on Medicare and Medicaid, the companies also profit from the generous subsidies the government pays insurers to reduce the premiums they charge individuals and families who do not qualify for either Medicare or Medicaid or who work for an employer that does not offer subsidized coverage.”