Aetna Decides To Opt Out Of Obamacare Program
Aetna has reconsidered the choice of participating in Obamacare, the latest large insurer to cast dispersions of the future of individual exchanges.
Aetna said it would cancel plans to increase its expansion efforts into more states, and reevaluate being involved in the 15 states it currently offers coverage. The company said it believes it’ll lose 300 million on the Obamacare business.
Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said that based on the 2016 projections individual products and structural challenges that face the public exchanges, the company is anticipated to withdraw its 2017 public exchange expansion plans and look at the future participation in the 15 other states.
A number of health insurance companies have voiced their issues with the Obamacare exchanges and how viable the program was as they endured huge losses. Many claim the premiums are excessively low and didn’t cover the care consumers had because they were much sicker than many thought.
The latest federal statistics show that more than 11 million people are taking part in Obamacare this year.
Aetna isn’t the only health insurance companies to exit the Obamacare exchanges. Other healthcare insurance companies are reducing their load such as various Blue Cross Blue Shield companies. Over half of the co-op insurers have failed, despite the health reform law creating and funding them. It means many consumers have just one or two insurers to choose from.
In order to cover the sick patients, many insurers have asked for a huge premium hike for 2017 – some of these hikes are in the double digits. The average premium increase is nine percent. However, the requests range from an increase of 25 percent to a drop of 13 percent. States will have to look over the requests and have the option to change them.
During state reviews last year, premiums for silver plans had a two percent increase.
The announcement from Aetna comes on the heels of the Department of Justice’s blockage of its plan to merge with Humana and Anthem’s buying of Cigna. Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish said the acquisition of Cigna will stabilize the pricing in the volatile market, allowing Anthem to continue to offer public exchanges and offer the chance to expand its participation to nine other states where either company has yet to participate.
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