Aetna Ditching 70% of its ObamaCare Business
August 16, 2016
Insurance giant Aetna won’t be offering coverage under ObamaCare next year in 11 of the 15 states it now serves — an announcement that instantly became an issue in the presidential race.
Aetna’s decision led Donald Trump to charge that President Obama’s health care reform was “imploding.”
“Aetna’s decision to leave the Affordable Care Act’s public marketplaces is the latest blow to this broken law that is slowly imploding under its regulatory red tape,” said Trump campaign deputy national policy director Dan Kowalski.
“Millions of Americans have lost their health coverage under this disastrous policy, eliminating their ability to choose their doctors. Thousands of businesses have been forced to cut employment or shutter their doors in response to Obama’s signature achievement,” he added.
The company had previously warned that it expected to lose more than $300 million this year on the 900,000 patients it covers under the Affordable Care Act.
Aetna said it is pulling out of ObamaCare markets in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.
Aetna does not currently offer the policies in New York.
It does offer other medical insurance to individuals and small businesses as well as large employers in the state, officials said.
It will continue to offer policies in Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia.
ObamaCare is credited with expanding coverage to millions of previously uninsured or under-insured people.
But insurers have complained they have lost money on the policies. United Health Group and Humana are other insurers exiting ObamaCare plans.
Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, in a statement, said there were not enough younger, healthier customers signing up to make ObamaCare policies sustainable.
“The vast majority of payers have experienced continued financial stress within their individual public exchange business. Providing affordable, high-quality health care options to consumers is not possible without a balanced risk pool,” Bertolini said.
More than a dozen nonprofit insurance co-ops have shut down in the past couple years.
The pullouts could spell trouble because competition is supposed to help control price increases.
Some states like Alaska and Oklahoma will be left with only one insurer selling ObamaCare plans to individuals in 2017.
More densely populated states like New York say their ObamaCare markets remain strong.
But rates for customers are skyrocketing to maintain stability.
Citing increased medical costs, New York recently authorized insurers offering individual ObamaCare plans to increase premiums by an average 16.6 percent — the highest rate hike in the program’s four-year existence.
New York’s small businesses will get hit with an average 8.3 percent rate hike.
Source: New York Post