Aetna Pulls 2017 Exchange Expansion Plans
One of Obamacare’s biggest insurer supporters is reversing its exchange expansion plans after announcing significant loss projections in plans sold through the exchanges. Aetna CEO, Mark Bertolini, announced that the company would pull all their 2017 exchange expansion plans and reevaluate future participation in the exchanges. Aetna currently offers products in 15 states.
Aetna’s announcement puts them in the ranks with the nation’s largest insurers who have all experienced higher than expected losses associated with the ACA, mainly due to the influx of severely ill enrollees. United Health, Humana, Anthem, and Blue Cross have also faulted Obamacare for their money woes.
Of the 23 original co-ops set up to sell coverage on the exchange, only 7 remain operational, with experts predicting that all will fold under the financial strain. Although rates have increased between 2013 and 2016, they are expected to skyrocket in 2017 with many states seeing double-digit increases.
Companies such as Humana will only offer individual plans. They are also reducing their footprint from 19 states to 11 and from 1,351 counties to only 156. Analysists believe other carriers will follow suit to reduce their overall exposure to the slippery public exchanges.
This November marks the 4th open enrollment for Obamacare. Although the Congressional Budget Office predicted that 21 million people would have coverage by 2016, only 11 million people – who are also older and sicker than expected – were actually enrolled.
During the 2015-2016 enrollment period, the percentage change in premium for the lowest-cost silver plan were all over the board. While Michigan and Ohio saw slight decreases, 1.9% and 1.1 % respectively, Colorado experienced an almost 25% increase. Oklahoma was slammed with the largest increase at 41% increase. On the east coast, New York received an 8.1% increase, Florida saw their rates increase by 2.6%, and NC was hit with a 20.6% hike. Out west, although California only saw a 1.4% increase, 2017 appears to be a different story with analysists calling for an expected double digit hike nearing 20%.