Aetna to Abandon Obamacare Plans in 46 States

(Photo: 2014 photo by Jessica Hill, AP)
(Photo: 2014 photo by Jessica Hill, AP)

Health insurer Aetna plans to cease its participation in the Obamacare health exchanges in all but four states.

The company’s decision, which it blamed on heavy losses tied to the insurance plans, follows similar moves by competitors such as UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest insurer.

Aetna said that in 2017 it would cease offering health care insurance options through the Affordable Care Act exchanges in 68.9% of the counties where it offered plans in 2016. It will continue offering certain plans in Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia. Affected enrollees will keep their plans through the end of 2016 but must find alternatives for next year.

Aetna sustained a second-quarter pre-tax loss of $200 million on its individual health care plans, though that figure includes results from insurance offered outside of the Obamacare exchanges.

“As a strong supporter of public exchanges as a means to meet the needs of the uninsured, we regret having to make this decision,” Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said in a statement. “We will continue to evaluate our participation in individual public exchanges while gaining additional insight from the counties where we will maintain our presence, and may expand our footprint in the future should there be meaningful exchange-related policy improvements.”

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SOURCE: Nathan Bomey
USA TODAY