Some Insurers Bail on Obamacare While Others Hang Tough and Still Others Expand

Residents in Wisconsin and Indiana who buy insurance on the ACA exchanges will have fewer options next year as Anthem announced yesterday that it is pulling out of those states, the New York Times reports. This comes on the heels of Anthem’s announcement last month that it was pulling out of the Ohio exchange.

Yesterday was a deadline of sorts (meaning it does not represent a final commitment) for insurers to decide whether or not to participate in the ACA exchanges next year. Anthem had been one of the major players in Obamacare. The company said in a statement that sticking with the ACA has “become increasingly difficult due to a shrinking and deteriorating individual market, as well as continual changes and uncertainty in federal operations, rules and guidance.”

But while some insurers are bailing, others are hanging tough and at least one, Oscar Insurance, intends to expand. Centene said that it will offer plans for the first time in Nevada, Missouri, and Kansas.

Molina Healthcare’s board of directors earlier this month fired the sons of the company’s founder because of a poor financial showing, partly due to the shaky Obamacare exchanges. However, Molina yesterday said that it plans to stay in the nine state exchanges where it currently operates. Molina caters to mostly Medicaid beneficiaries.

There had been some concern that Iowa residents would be left without any exchange option because of the decisions by Aetna and Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield to excite. However, the last of the Iowa plans, Medica, said that it will continue on the exchange, although it will raise premiums by 43%.

But, again, nothing’s written in stone. The New York Times notes that “other insurers have emphasized they remain ambivalent about staying. Health Care Service Corporation, which operates nonprofit Blue Cross plans, said it would file proposals in all five states where it offers coverage, but could still decide to leave. The insurer covers more than one million people in the individual market.”

Source: New York Times