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UnitedHealth drops out of AHIP over strategic differences

Brian Anderson

UnitedHealth Group Inc., the nation’s largest health insurer, is parting ways as of June 30 with the health insurance industry’s biggest trade group, saying America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the industry’s most powerful lobbyist, no longer represents the best interests of UnitedHealth or its customers.

UnitedHealth issued a statement about the decision, first reported byPolitico Pro.

“UnitedHealth Group believes the interest of our company and the customers we serve are no longer best represented by AHIP and accordingly are ending our membership,” UnitedHealth spokesman Matt Stearns said in the statement. “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. AHIP has to respond to its needs and interest of many members, which understandably resulted in a more limited and complicated advocacy focus.”

AHIP said in a statement of its own provided to The Wall Street Journal that it continues to represent the majority of the industry. “AHIP has a strong and demonstrated track record of successful advocacy on behalf of the health insurance industry. 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,” said AHIP Interim CEO Dan Durham.AHIP, formed in 2004, is the national trade association representing the health insurance industry with nearly 1,300 member companies. AHIP advocates for public policies that expand access to affordable health care coverage to all Americans through a competitive marketplace that fosters choice, quality and innovation.

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