Aetna to Drop ALL Obamacare

Aetna Inc. the giant health insurer announced Wednesday that it would be leaving the individual insurance market for the Affordable Care Act in 2018 in Nebraska and Delaware, the two states that it still offers plans in.

Aetna already has said it would leave the individual insurance plan market in Iowa and Virginia after it pulled out of many other states in 2016.

Aetna now has exited all exchanges the company announced in its emailed statement.

Insurers UnitedHealth Group and Humana Inc. have pulled out as well from most of the individual health insurance government subsidized market.

U.S. House Republicans a week ago voted to repeal the ACA, often referred to as Obamacare, which is due to the Act being the signature domestic achievement for former President Barack Obama.

However, even if the measure by the Republicans, referred to as the American Health Care Act, is passed in the Senate, it would not remedy the critical issue for healthcare insurers, which is if the government will be continuing to fund cost-sharing that helps individual to pay their care.

Several health insurers say they are not able to plan amidst the great uncertainty and the balance of healthy and sick customers was much worse than had been expected, and rates for premiums for individual insurance went up by 25% in 2017.

One analyst in the industry told investors that the decision by Aetna did not surprise him given the uncertainty that continues about the stability of the market and if the cost-sharing subsidies would be continuing.

He made a note that only one health plan was available in Delaware and in Nebraska but warned that there was a possibility the remaining one would leave in both states.

Aetna had projected losses close to $225 million from the exchange plan businesses for 2017, which would follow a combined $700 million loss for the years 2014 through 2016.

The losses were attributed by the insurer to structural issues in the marketplace that led to failures in co-ops and exits by insurances companies as well as subsequent deterioration of the risk pool.

Aetna announced it had over 964,000 individual plan members through the end of 2016, but the number fell to only 255,000 through the end of March.

Insurer Evercore ISI said its signups in Delaware had dropped by 2.4% thus far in 2017, while its signups for Nebraska were down 3.9%.

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