Insurance companies rush to embrace Obamacare so they can survive recession
US President Barack Obama is the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia (AFP Photo/Yuri Gripas)

Health insurance companies who for years have resisted taking part in the Affordable Care Act's health care exchanges are now rushing back into them to stave off financial calamity brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Politico reports that United Healthcare this week said it would reenter Maryland's Obamacare exchange years after it exited the market. United Healthcare, which is America's largest health insurer, is also planning to expand into other states' exchanges.

"Insurers increasingly view Obamacare as a boon while job-based health coverage faces its biggest threat yet in a crashing economy," reports Politico. "With tens of millions of people losing their jobs — and their health benefits — along with major cuts to Medicaid, the insurers see stability and the promise of enough healthy enrollees in a marketplace that offers government subsidized private insurance to millions of Americans during a pandemic."

Insurers for years have fought against the law, which bars them from discriminating against patients with preexisting conditions or from abruptly rescinding coverage from patients who get sick.

However, after the Republican Party failed to repeal and replace the law in 2017, insurers have come to see it as something they can't avoid.

“In the coming months, millions of individuals are expected to turn to the ACA exchanges in order to secure coverage,” the lobby group America’s Health Insurance Plans told the Supreme Court this week in an effort to get them to vote against overturning the entire law.