Aetna Says Sayonara to Obamacare
The Wall Street Journal
May 11, 2017
Aetna said on Wednesday that it will withdraw individual market plans in Nebraska and Delaware, meaning it will participate in zero exchanges in 2018. Last week the insurer bolted from Iowa and Virginia, and the four states were the last vestiges of its original ObamaCare expansion to 15 states. Even as the rest of its business is performing handsomely, Aetna expects to lose about $200 million on ObamaCare this year, on top of writedowns nearing $700 million between 2014 and 2016.
Humana has also left the exchanges altogether, Anthem is edgy, and the familiar problem is ObamaCare’s structural undertow. Despite subsidies and mandates, the regulations are too restrictive and insurers aren’t allowed to profitably sell products that can attract enough people to square the economics.
The GOP’s American Health Care Act includes tools that can mitigate some of the damage, and over time nurture a richer, more liquid insurance market. The failure to pass the reform this spring has contributed to business uncertainty, but there’s still time to provide more stability—though it is running out fast.