Health care alert: Aetna to withdraw majority of insurance markets

Health care alert: Aetna to withdraw majority of insurance markets
Obamacare restricting options causing downward spiral

DENVER—Tonight, in a huge blow to Obamacare, one of America’s largest health insurers said it was pulling out of most of the insurance markets in which it was participating, citing $200 million in losses in the last quarter, and more than $430 million in losses since 2014.

Advancing Colorado Executive Director Jonathan Lockwood released the following statement:

“Tonight’s news about Aetna backing out of most exchanges shocks no one who has been paying attention to the Obamacare-sparked downward spiral. The Obamacare lie didn’t help provide better health care options and it didn’t address cost drivers, improve affordability or access, and it didn’t bring about any economic relief. Instead what we have seen is Obamacare create less competition, merger mania and a death spiral.”

Aetna will reduce its individual Obamacare exchange participation from 778 to 242 counties for 2017, maintaining an on-exchange presence in only Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia. The insurer will continue to offer off-exchange individual plans for 2017 to consumers in the vast majority of counties where it offered individual public exchange products in 2016.

According to Bloomberg:

“Aetna covered about 838,000 people through the Obamacare exchange in its 15 states as of June 30, and on Aug. 2 said it was re-evaluating its approach to the market. At the time, the company said it was scrapping plans to expand into new states for 2017.

‘We’ve got to be able to cover the costs associated with providing the care,’ Aetna Chief Executive Officer Mark Bertolini said in an interview at the time.”

Chairman and CEO Mark T. Bertolini said in Aetna’s release:

“Providing affordable, high-quality health care options to consumers is not possible without a balanced risk pool. 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. This population dynamic, coupled with the current inadequate risk adjustment mechanism, results in substantial upward pressure on premiums and creates significant sustainability concerns.”

You can read the full release distributed on BusinessWire tonight here.