Aetna pulling out of most Obamacare markets

Politico – by Paul Demko

Aetna is pulling out of all but four states where it currently sells plans on the Obamacare exchanges for 2017.

The insurer’s participation will be limited to Virginia, Delaware, Iowa and Nebraska next year, compared with 15 states where it competed for customers this year.

The announcement follows similar decisions by UnitedHealth Group and Humana to scale back exchange participation.  

Aetna cited unsustainable losses as the primary reason for trimming its Obamacare participation. The number of counties where it sells exchange plans will drop from 778 to 242.

“Providing affordable, high-quality health care options to consumers is not possible without a balanced risk pool,” Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said in a statement. “Fifty-five percent of our individual on-exchange membership is new in 2016, and in the second quarter we saw individuals in need of high-cost care represent an even larger share of our on-exchange population.”

The decision comes at a time when Aetna’s $37 billion acquisition of Humana is being challenged by the DOJ. An antitrust lawsuit is slated to begin in December.

CMS marketplace CEO Kevin Counihan expressed faith in the stability of the markets despite the Aetna development.

“It’s no surprise that companies are adapting at different rates to a market where they compete for business on cost and quality rather than by denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions,” Counihan said in a statement. “But the ACA Marketplace is serving more than 11 million people and has helped America reach the lowest uninsured rate on record.”

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2 thoughts on “Aetna pulling out of most Obamacare markets

  1. Obamacare turned out to be precisely the boondoggle we expected it to be, if not worse.

    I remember telling someone a decade ago “nationalized healthcare is only going to destroy the quality of healthcare, and send prices through the roof”, and that’s exactly what happened.

    You don’t need a crystal ball. It’s a basic rule of thumb that the government is going to screw up anything and everything it gets it’s hands on, and a hundred crooks will have their hands in the cookie jar along the way.

  2. The problem with this is that we taxpayers will once again, be called on to bail out this debacle called Obamacare!
    There’s no way our politicians will allow it to die a natural death!

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