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UnitedHealth parts ways with AHIP

Insurer says trade group no longer represents its best interests

UnitedHealth Group, the nation's largest for-profit health insurer, is calling it quits with the industry's largest trade group, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), effective June 30. 

A UnitedHealth spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that the company feels it's no longer being well represented, and that AHIP has "set forth a strategy and direction it feels best serves a membership profile and need that does not fit UnitedHealth Group and our diversified portfolio."

UnitedHealth believes that due to AHIP's large member population of nearly 1,300 companies, the trade group has to tend to the interests of many, which limits its advocacy focus.

In response, AHIP notes that it remains dedicated to its legislative and lobbying agenda--such issues include support of the Affordable Care Act and reigning in pricey prescription drug costs, according to the article.

"AHIP has a strong and demonstrated track record of successful advocacy on behalf of the health insurance industry," AHIP's interim CEO Dan Durham said in a statement provided to the WSJ. "Our board has focused us on the critical issues facing health insurers and the customers we serve, including affordability, high-cost drugs and Medicare Advantage."

FierceHealthPayer contacted both UnitedHealth and AHIP; both were unable to be reached for comment.  

For more:
- here's the WSJ article

Related Articles:
Karen Ignagni leaving AHIP for EmblemHealth