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Insurers vying for $300B dual-eligible market


Health insurers are acquiring managed care companies in hopes of tapping into the $300 billion dual-eligible market, which is made up of certain Medicare and Medicaid enrollees who are eligible for both programs. Despite risks associated with the emerging market, such as high up-front costs and significant health challenges, large and small insurers alike view dual-eligibles as a business growth opportunity, reported the Wall Street Journal. "We do see it as a major opportunity," said Gail Boudreaux, chief executive of UnitedHealth's insurance unit, which recently purchased XLHealth to help expand into the Medicare-Medicaid markets.

Meanwhile, rival WellPoint also begun acquiring similar businesses when it bought CareMore."If you don't get it right on day one, you could really not do well in these programs," WellPoint Chief Financial Officer Wayne DeVeydt told WSJ. Humana, which already has a significant Medicare market share, has expressed interest in creating Medicaid-related partnerships to pursue dual-eligible enrollees. Article (subscription required)