The health insurance market, as federal health reform continues to be implemented, “continues to be rational,” the CEO of Aetna said recently.
Mark Bertolini, who also is president of the national health insurer, did acknowledge that “pockets of irrational behavior or irrational from out point of view from time to time” exist.
Speaking to investors during the company’s earnings conference call earlier in February, Bertolini said his company has rejected the idea of pricing to meet the new requirements of the health reform law, passed in March 2010. The law forces health insurers to invest 80% of individual and small-group premiums, and 85% of large-group premiums on medical costs.
“We have heard of some competitors pricing to the MLR target going forward,” he said, not identifying the companies. “We have considered that strategy and don’t consider that to be appropriate for us. So we continue to price to trend and appropriate profit margin and we’ll let, call it, the cards fall where they may.”