Major insurer signals more withdrawals from ObamaCare exchanges

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One of America’s largest insurers announced Tuesday that it is considering exiting additional ObamaCare exchanges at the end of 2017.

During an earnings call, Aetna informed investors that it is weighing withdrawal from additional markets due to projected losses. In April, Aetna announced that it was pulling out of the Iowa ObamaCare market in 2018, leaving the company only in Delaware, Nebraska, and Virginia. 

Also in April, Aetna filed a preliminary application to offer ObamaCare plans in Virginia but has time to reconsider its decision.

“Looking beyond 2017, we continue to evaluate our footprint with a view to significantly reduce our exposure to individual commercial products in 2018,” Aetna’s CFO Shawn Guertin told investors, noting that Aetna will announce additional participation decisions “when appropriate.”

This year, Aetna has approximately 255,000 members in the ObamaCare market nationwide, a considerable reduction from the 964,000 members it had in 2016 when it lost $450 million in the market. In 2017, losses are projected to be higher than expected.

Mirroring predictions from Republicans and ObamaCare opponents, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini recently claimed that the market is in a “death spiral.”

Bertolini was criticized following the revelation that Aetna threatened to withdraw from several profitable ObamaCare markets to compel antitrust regulators at the Department of Justice into approving the company’s failed $37 billion bid for Humana. After the merger was rejected, Aetna withdrew from the exchanges.

Humana announced earlier this year that it will leave the individual market entirely in 2018.  

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