Now it’s official. A couple of days ago we reported on Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s decision to exit the ACA exchange in Iowa. In that story, we mentioned that Aetna has yet to commit. Well, now it has with its announcement yesterday that it won’t be participating in Iowa’s exchange in 2018, according to Reuters.
Aetna echoed Wellmark in saying it was exiting because of the financial risk and Washington D.C.’s inability to clearly define for insurers what awaits them. Republican plans to repeal and replace Obamacare were scuttled last month for lack of enough GOP support in the House.
Aetna and Wellmark’s moves amount to a one-two punch for Obamacare in Iowa. Reuters: “According to data provided by Iowa, Aetna accounted for most of the plans sold on the federally run HealthCare.gov website in 2016. Wellmark accounted for most of the plans sold in the state that comply with Obamacare but are not sold on Healthcare.gov.” Aetna has about 30,000 covered lives under Obamacare; Wellmark about 21,000.
Aetna hasn’t made any decisions about remaining on the exchanges in Delaware, Nebraska, and Virginia. And Aetna isn’t the only health insurance plan showing hesitation.
Reuters reports that many health plans “worry that Republicans have not said they will extend billions of dollars of subsidies into 2018 and that lawmakers might make other major changes, such as scrapping the requirement that all Americans must have health coverage or pay a fine.”