Aetna Fully Exits Obamacare Exchanges With Pull-Out in 2 States

Aetna Fully Exits Obamacare Exchanges With Pull-Out in 2 States

Aetna, one of the major five public health insurers in the U.S., announced it will remove its products from the Obamacare exchanges in Nebraska and Delaware.

Aetna said it had 964,000 individual commercial plan members as of the end of 2016, but that number dropped to 255,000 at the end of March.

Regulators past year approved average rate increases in the individual market of 32.5 percent for Highmark and about 23 percent for Aetna.

According to an Aetna spokesman, the insurer will not sell individual health plans next year in DE or Nebraska.

The insurer said it is pulling out because of financial losses, adding that its individual commercial products lost almost $700 million between 2014 and 2016 and could lose another $200 million this year.

"Aetna will not offer on- or off-exchange individual plans in DE [Delaware] or NE [Nebraska] for 2018, and at this time has completely exited the exchanges", Crawford wrote in the message via Twitter on Wednesday.




Aetna isn't part of a mass exodus of companies from exchanges as the repeal bill works its way through Congress, said John F. O'Connell, president of C.M. Smith Agency in Hartford and a partner in Alera Group, a nationwide brokerage.

The issue of health care still remains up in the air in Nebraska with just over a month before health insurers have to declare their intentions for selling policies in 2018. "This continued assault on the ACA's insurance marketplaces, just when they were becoming financially stable, has sowed confusion and fear among Americans about whether they will be able to access health care".

Remaining insurers are requesting big rate hikes for next year. Some insurers have stayed in but raised the premiums they charge customers by double-digit percentages. "We can not sit by and allow our country's health insurance marketplace to collapse under this unsustainable law", said Smith.

Earlier, Aetna AET, +0.45% announced it was leaving the exchanges in Iowa and Virginia, its other two current marketplace states.

HealthKeepers, an affiliate of Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, hopes for a 38% increase.

Carper said Aetna's withdrawal will leave a single insurer in Delaware's ACA marketplace and will force 12,000 state residents to find new coverage.

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