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Last big provider exit to ObamaCare exchanges in Iowa this year

May 4, 2017

For the past several months we’ve observed in complete amazement as Democrats have repeatedly hailed the ‘great accomplishments’ of Obamacare while the system was literally, and quite tangibly, collapsing in epic fashion all around them.  The ability to blindly and shamelessly support a partisan cause irrespective of overwhelming facts proving the ineffectiveness of that cause is truly a talent reserved only for politicians, on both sides of the aisle.

The latest evidence of Obamacare’s implosion comes from its stunning collapse in the state of Iowa in just a matter of a few weeks.  Early last month, 2 of Iowa’s 3 remaining healthcare providers, Aetna and Wellmark, announced they would not participate in the state’s exchange in 2018.  Per Bloomberg:

“Earlier today we informed the appropriate federal and state regulators that Aetna will not participate in the Iowa individual public exchange for 2018 as a result of financial risk and an uncertain outlook for the marketplace,” Aetna spokesman T.J. Crawford said in an email. “We are still evaluating Aetna’s 2018 individual product presence in our remaining states.”

On Monday, Wellmark Inc. said it planned to give up on the Iowa Obamacare market in 2018. Wellmark is one of the state’s largest insurers.

Iowa

 

Those decisions left the overwhelming majority of Iowans with just one insurance option for 2018, Medica.  That is, until today when Medica also announced that, “due to instability in the market,” they too would likely have to pull out of Iowa in 2018.  Per the Des Moines Register:

Medica, a Minnesota based health insurer, released a statement suggesting it was close to following two larger carriers in deciding not to sell such policies in Iowa for 2018, due to instability in the market.

“Without swift action by the state or Congress to provide stability to Iowa’s individual insurance market, Medica will not be able to serve the citizens of Iowa in the manner and breadth that we do today. We are examining the potential of limited offerings, but our ability to stay in the Iowa insurance market in any capacity is in question at this point,” the company’s statement said.

Medica’s exit is expected to leave roughly 70,000 Iowans without a single option to purchase a personal health insurance policy in 2018, even if they wanted to.  Unless a replacement carrier is found, the change also means moderate-income Iowans in most counties will not be able to use Affordable Care Act subsidies to help pay premiums for private insurance.

Medica is a relatively small carrier, which faced a daunting prospect in Iowa after Aetna and Wellmark announced they would no longer sell individual health insurance plans there. The two large carriers announced they had lost tens of millions of dollars in Iowa, largely because they covered too many older Iowans with chronic health problems and not enough young, healthy people. If Medica remains in the market, it would face the prospect of shouldering all of that risk by itself.

Of course, all of this should come as little surprise to our readers as we’ve been writing for years that the entire Obamacare system was on the “verge of collapse” as premiums were soaring, risk pools were deteriorating and insurers were pulling out of exchanges all around the country leaving many Americans with just a single ‘option’ for health insurance (see “Obamacare On “Verge Of Collapse” As Premiums Set To Soar Again In 2017“).  In fact, the following charts provide a stunning illustration of that collapse (charts per Bloomberg):

Ocare

 

Unfortunately, things are likely to get even worse in 2018, even if Trump leaves subsidies in place.  Humana has already announced they won’t offer marketplace plans in 2018, a move which will result in 1,000s of people in Tennessee not having a single health insurance option starting 1/1/18.

 

Meanwhile, Anthem has also signaled they may exit all exchanges next year as well which would leave another 250,000 consumers with no health insurance options.

 

But sure, Republicans are trying to ‘ruin’ healthcare in America.

http://bit.ly/2quLHc9

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