Published: Fri, May 12, 2017
National | By Traci Kelley

ACA exchanges grow thinner with Aetna leaving for 2018

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

Several insurers remaining in Obamacare are requesting big rate hikes for next year. That came after Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told the Department of Justice that unrealized savings from a proposed merger with rival Humana would force the insurer to pull out of the market.

With the latest departures, more than 40 percent of USA counties would have only one insurer selling coverage on their marketplaces for next year, according to data compiled by The Associated Press and the consulting firm Avalere.

The median coverage price this year for one typical plan was about 67 percent higher in marketplaces with one insurer compared to those that had six or more, according to a study by the non-profit Urban Institute.

Health insurers have said they can not plan amid the uncertainty.

Sen. Thomas R. Carper, a Democrat, faulted President Donald Trump for DE being left with only one insurer, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

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The first issue relates directly to what conservatives have been trying to address in health care reform.

Health and Human Services Secretary said in a statement Wednesday that Aetna's move "adds to the mountain of evidence that Obamacare has failed the American people". As a main reason for their exit, Aetna cited an approximate $700 million loss for individual policies between 2014 and 2016, and an estimated loss of $200 million for 2017 throughout the United States. The insurer once sold the coverage in 15 states, but slashed that to four after losing about $450 million in 2016.

Another blow to ObamaCare as another major insurer drops out of the marketplace. He says if you were to allow a significant subsidy, up to $14,000 to help a family buy health insurance, they could use that money to buy health insurance that is available to them at the time.

Earlier this year, Humana's decision to leave the exchanges temporarily left 16 Tennessee counties with no on-exchange coverage options for 2018.

Iowa is the only state at possible risk of having no exchange plans offered in 2018, Perlman said.

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