Insurers Continue to Abandon the Exchanges

The nation’s third-largest insurer, Aetna claims they will pull back their participation in exchange for 2017, going from 15 states to only four. USNews also reported this change will predominantly be felt in Southern states and rural areas, where having competition is important in keeping prices from going up. With Aetna leaving more than two-thirds of the counties they currently sell coverage in, this will leave 20-25% of the nation’s counties with only one insurer in the market; which may result in higher prices. In addition to Aetna, UnitedHealth and Humana have also cut down their coverage plans for 2017 after a dozen of nonprofit insurances have shut down. UnitedHealth will be pulling out of 31 of 34 states, and Humana will reduce their participation from 15 to 11. According to Cynthia Cox, associate director of health reform and private insurances for Kaiser Health News, also stated that South Carolina and North Carolina will join Alaska, Alabama, and Oklahoma in being the only states with only one health insurer in their exchanges next year.

According to an article published on Journal Star, the problem might be quite obvious. Insurance companies taking part in the Affordable Care Act are losing money. For example, Aetna would lose $300 million a year on plans; as well as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, which lost $53 million last year. The positive side, however, is that the nation has approximately 20 million more insured people than before the passing of the ACA. Now, will we see more insurers continue to back out? We may have to keep our ears peeled.

Aetna will exit:

Georgia

Arizona

Texas

Missouri

Illinois

Kentucky

Florida

South Carolina

North Carolina

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Aetna will remain:

Nebraska

Delaware

Iowa

Virginia

 

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