Monday, June 7, 2010


Since the following is a result of finding out how awesome ObamaCare is after passage of said legislation, this certainly qualifies for Nancy's Nuances: a journey of discovery.

The hotly debated healthcare reform bill signed into law in March has killed a local insurance company.

At least that’s according to a brief letter Richmond-based nHealth sent to insurance agents explaining the reason behind the shuttering of the once promising local startup.

“I wanted to share with you the decision by nHealth’s board of directors to exit the health insurance market,” wrote James Slabaugh, executive vice president of the Richmond-based insurance company that employed about 50 people. (Many of those were at an office in Ohio).

The letter, obtained by BizSense, was sent June 2 to nHealth insurance agents. (You can read it here).
The letter explained that “considerable uncertainties” in the health insurance market caused by the recent federal healthcare legislation made the two year-old company’s business model unsustainable.

“Despite a product that was gaining increasing acceptance among companies throughout the Commonwealth, the uncertainties in the regulatory climate coupled with new demands imposed by national healthcare reforms have made it challenging to sustain the level of sales required to remain viable over the long run,” Slabaugh said in the letter.

According to nHealth CEO Paul Kitchen and Paul Nezi, one of the company’s original investors and former board members, regulatory changes the company believes are coming as a result of the legislation will require levels of capital beyond what nHealth’s business model can sustain.

Founded back in 2008, nHealth's model was high deductibles and utilization of health savings plans. They were able to keep costs down by making customers more vested in their own healthcare decisions. In a world where the patient/doctor relationship is front and center, this is the model we advocate. Apparently, however, this model where one pays for one's own health care is too outside the norm to be competitive under the Obama regime.

Just as well, though. Probably just another greedy insurer looking to get over on its customers.

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