Published: Fri, May 12, 2017
U.S. | By Vera Richards

Aetna leaving Affordable Care Act market in Nebraska

Aetna leaving Affordable Care Act market in Nebraska

Blue Cross affiliates in the two states have said they won't offer plans because of big losses, although changes in the law could encourage insurance companies to reconsider. It has 255,000 Obamacare policyholders this year, down from 964,000 at the end of last year.

Aetna lost $450 million previous year on its almost 1 million customers with individual health policies on and off the insurance exchanges.

"We will not offer on- or off-exchange individual plans in DE or Nebraska for 2018, and at this time have completely exited the exchanges", Aetna said in a statement Wednesday.

The nation's third-largest insurer, Aetna, said Wednesday that it will completely leave the exchanges for 2018 after projecting a $200 million loss for this year.

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Sen. Thomas R. Carper, a Democrat, faulted President Donald Trump for DE being left with only one insurer, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. No mention was made of concerns over the future of ObamaCare, which had been cited a week ago when Aetna announced that it was leaving exchanges in Virginia and Iowa. He says, "It is essential that they speed this process up because insurance companies, if they all re-enter the Marketplace - well a lot of them went out of business- but if a number re-enter the Marketplace they have to have time to prepare for 2018". "Instead of following through on his promise to ensure that all Americans would have better and less expensive health insurance, the Trump administration has done just the opposite by sabotaging the ACA insurance marketplaces in any possible way", Carper said. Meanwhile health insurers in Maryland, Virginia and CT who are remaining part of Obamacare have asked for sharp increases in rates for next year.

He said that repealing and replacing ObamaCare with patient-centered solutions will stabilize the marketplace to bring down costs and increase choices. Some insurers have stayed in but raised the premiums they charge customers by double-digit percentages.

HealthKeepers, an affiliate of Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, hopes for a 38% increase. 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.

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