Obamacare’s Dwindling Choices

‘Insurance Options Dwindle’ For Multiple States, Hundreds Of Counties

Kentucky Resident: “At what point will enough Americans wake up to the fiasco of Obamacare and undo this monstrosity? I was just informed by my health care carrier that my plan will no longer be offered as it does not meet the Affordable Care Act standards. The cheapest replacement is going to be an 80-percent increase over my current monthly premium.” (Letter To The Editor, “Obamacare Destructive,” Lexington Herald-Leader, 5/17/16)


Many Areas ‘Down To One Obamacare Insurer’

“The entire states of Alaska and Alabama are expected to have only one insurer on the health law’s signature online marketplaces next year, according to state regulators.” (“Insurance Options Dwindle In Some Rural Regions,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/16/16)

  • “Alaska lost a carrier that was struggling to survive in the Northwest. In 2016, Alaska's marketplace had two competitors. One of them, Moda Health, dropped out of the Alaska marketplace in early May, citing ‘significant financial loss’ in the state. This leaves only Premera Blue Cross behind.” (“3 States Are Down To One Obamacare Insurer…” Vox, 5/16/16)
  • “Alabama lost two national carriers. Humana and UnitedHealth both recently announced they would leave the state at the end of the year. United's departure was part of the company's national retreat from the Obamacare marketplaces. Humana was a relatively small presence in the Alabama marketplace, covering about 15,000 of the state's 200,000 Obamacare enrollees. The one remaining carrier will be the local Blue Cross Blue Shield plan.” (“3 States Are Down To One Obamacare Insurer…” Vox, 5/16/16)

“The same is expected to be true in parts of several other states, including Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arizona and Oklahoma, state regulators said. So far, more than 650 counties appear on track to have just one insurer on the exchanges in 2017, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is tracking withdrawals as they become public. That would be up from 225 in 2016, when the state of Wyoming, among other areas, already had just one ACA marketplace competitor.” (“Insurance Options Dwindle In Some Rural Regions,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/16/16)

  • “In Oklahoma, Aetna has signaled it will join the exchange market next year, replacing the lost UnitedHealth—but has told officials it plans to offer policies only around the urban centers of Tulsa and Oklahoma City, leaving a number of rural counties with just one insurer, said Kelly Dexter, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Insurance Department.” (“Insurance Options Dwindle In Some Rural Regions,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/16/16)

FLASHBACK: The Original Sale

‘What We Will Do Is Ensure Consumers Have More Choices’

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “[W]e are bringing security and stability to millions who have health insurance ... What we will do is ensure consumers have more choices and insurance companies face more competition.” (Sen. Reid, Congressional Record, S. 13891, 12/24/2009)

SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D-NH): “I am sure every Member of the Senate ... has heard heartbreaking stories from our constituents about health care-stories ... about frustration over the lack of choice and who provides their health insurance ... Well, this bill will, I am happy to say, change that.” (Sen. Shaheen, Congressional Record, S. 13737, 12/22/2009)

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): “[W]hat we do with this bill ... We work to reduce cost, we work to expand coverage and increase choice and competition for American consumers.” (Sen. Klobuchar, Congressional Record, S. 13863, 12/23/2009)

SEN. RON WYDEN (D-OR): “Unlike today, where if a hard-working, middle-class American can't afford just the one health insurance policy available to him at his job, with this new provision, there will be a different health care marketplace, with free enterprise choices that can actually drive down costs for the middle class while ensuring those choices are of good quality.” (Sen. Wyden, Congressional Record, S. 13852-3, 12/23/2009)


Related Issues: Health Care, Obamacare