Unsustainable: Major Insurer Exits Obamacare In Ohio

Anthem’s Exit Leaves Over 10,000 People In At Least 18 ‘Counties Without A Single Insurer’

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Every week, it seems we hear more news about the failures of Obamacare. … It has become painfully clear that Obamacare is failing to live up to its promises and is collapsing in front of our eyes. If this failed Obamacare status quo continues, more Americans are likely to lose their insurance options, more Americans are likely to continue seeing their premiums rise, more Americans are likely to get caught in the downward spiral of Obamacare.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 6/6/2017)

SEN. PORTMAN: Obamacare ‘Has Failed To Meet The Promises That Were Made To Ohio Families’

SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): “For the past few years we’ve seen premiums and deductibles skyrocket because of the ObamaCare law, as we’ve seen a declining number of viable health care choices for families and small businesses. Now, with the pullout of Anthem in Ohio, there are at least 20 counties without a single insurer offering health coverage on the ObamaCare exchange. And many other counties will have only one insurer, with no competition to get costs down for families.” (Sen. Portman, Press Release, 6/6/2017)

  • SEN. PORTMAN: “This is one more reason why the status quo on health care is unsustainable. The Affordable Care Act has failed to meet the promises that were made to Ohio families. We can and must do better than ObamaCare …” (Sen. Portman, Press Release, 6/6/2017)

Over 10,000 Ohioans Left Without An Insurance Exchange Option

“One of Ohio's largest health care providers is leaving the state's health care exchange, leaving residents in 18 counties without an insurance option…. Anthem will pull out as of Jan. 1, 2018, so it won't be a choice for people buying individual insurance later this year. Currently, 44,000 Ohioans have Anthem coverage they purchased on the exchange.” (“Major Insurer Anthem To Withdraw From Ohio Health Care Exchange,” The Cincinnati Enquirer, 6/06/2017)

  • “In 2018, Anthem was the only insurer on the ACA exchange in these counties, Portman's office said: Paulding, Van Wert, Mercer, Auglaize, Logan, Hancock, Crawford, Knox, Holmes, Coshocton, Harrison, Muskingum, Guernsey, Perry, Morgan, Noble, Hocking, Vinton, Jackson and Lawrence. … The Ohio Department of Insurance said the actual number of counties at risk of lacking an ACA insurer may be 18, however, because of the way other insurers already planned to shift their coverage markets for the coming year.” (“Major Ohio Insurer Is Pulling Out Of Obamacare Market For 2018,” The [Cleveland] Plain Dealer, 6/06/2017)

“The move will mark the second region at risk of being bare of ACA marketplace insurers, after Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City announced it would leave a large area of western Missouri next year.” (“Anthem to Pull Out of Ohio Exchange, Leaving 18 Counties With No ACA Plan,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/06/2017)

Anthem’s Ohio Departure ‘Is A Worrisome Sign That Even Some Of The Individual Market’s Stalwarts Are Having Second Thoughts’

“The move is the first withdrawal by Anthem, a huge exchange insurer that has warned repeatedly that it was weighing its future in the ACA marketplaces, which sell health insurance to individuals. The decision will likely create alarm in the other 13 states where Anthem offers individual health-insurance plans. So far, the insurer has filed 2018 ACA plans with regulators in other states, including Virginia, Maine and Connecticut, but it could still pull back…. Overall, 302 counties in states including Georgia, Missouri and Ohio have only Anthem plans available on their marketplaces, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.” (“Anthem to Pull Out of Ohio Exchange, Leaving 18 Counties With No ACA Plan,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/06/2017)

For 2018 More And More States Left With Fewer And Fewer Insurance Choices

“Anthem is only the latest insurer to pull back from the exchanges for next year. Humana Inc. in February announced it would exit all the health-law marketplaces next year. Aetna Inc. has also said it is pulling out of the exchanges where it currently offers plans.” (“Anthem to Pull Out of Ohio Exchange, Leaving 18 Counties With No ACA Plan,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/06/2017)

“[Tennessee Commissioner of Commerce and Insurance Julie] McPeak also currently serves as the president-elect of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and they are keeping an eye on a number of communities. ‘Currently we have five states [Alabama, Alaska, South Carolina, Wyoming and Oklahoma] that have only one insurer statewide on the exchange market,’ she told Fox. ‘Another nine states, including Tennessee, have a majority of their counties that have only one insurer that is writing on the exchange market.’” (“ObamaCare Insurance: Fear Of Failure In Tennessee,” Fox News, 4/13/2017)

NEBRASKA: “After Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska announced it would drop its last two individual health plans Thursday, there is now only one choice for Nebraskans to go to for individual health insurance next year. And that company, Medica Health, has yet to decide whether or not they would offer plans …” (“Nebraska Running Out Of Individual Health Plans, 100,000 May Be Left Uninsured,” KMTV, 6/2/2017)

IOWA: “Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna announced in the spring that they were leaving [Iowa’s] individual insurance market. Medica, the third dominant player in Iowa, has said its ability to stay is also in question. The smallest player, Gunderson Health Plan, sells in only a small number of counties and is still weighing whether to remain. If Gunderson and Medica were to pull out, roughly 50,000 people who buy health coverage on Iowa’s ACA exchange could have no insurance options, including the roughly 85% of those people who get subsidies.” (“Health Care in Iowa Shows Peril for Both Political Parties,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/4/2017)

MISSOURI & KANSAS: “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City announced Wednesday that it has decided to exit the Affordable Care Act exchange next year, dealing a heavy blow to those insured under the law commonly called Obamacare. The decision affects about 67,000 Blue KC members in 30 counties in western Missouri and Wyandotte County and Johnson County in Kansas.” (“Blue Cross Blue Shield Of KC Is Pulling Out Of Obamacare In 2018,” The Kansas City Star, 5/24/2017)

DELAWARE: “Aetna's exit leaves Medica as the only insurer on the Nebraska exchange and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield as the sole carrier on the Delaware exchange.” (“Aetna To Obamacare: We're Outta Here,” CNN Money, 5/10/2017)

VIRGINIA: “The companies’ [Aetna and UnitedHealth] exit … mean[s] that 27 [Virginia] counties could have only one choice for 2018, said Katherine Hempstead, a senior adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funds health care research and grants.” (“Aetna Pulls Out Of Virginia's Individual Market, Citing Big Obamacare Losses,” CNN Money, 5/03/2017)

TENNESSEE: “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee announced Tuesday that it will sell Obamacare coverage next year in the Knoxville area, ensuring that enrollees there will have at least one option on the marketplace in 2018. The Knoxville area has been in precarious situation this year. Humana announced in January that it would quit selling coverage there (and across the country), leaving enrollees there with zero insurance plans selling on the marketplace in 2018.” (Vox, 5/09/2017)


Related Issues: Health Care, Obamacare, Middle Class