- Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told investors at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco it is too soon to give up on the public health exchange market created by the Affordable Care Act, Reuters reported.
- After losing in the mid-single-digits in exchange segment in 2015, Aetna has priced its exchanges to attain mid-single-digit growth this year.
- Bertolini said the company has spent more money on accountable care organizations than it’s lost in the exchanges.
Bertolini said Aetna’s goal of mid-single digits with the exchanges in 2016 may not be fully achievable, but he expects them to make some headway.
Efforts to improve performance include investing more in medical management, utilizing better calculation of risk-adjusted scores in the exchange populations, and withdrawing from the Kansas market, Bertolini said.
“We believe it is incredibly important, in the business we’re in, that we insure all Americans,” Bertolini said in a webcast. “We believe we have an obligation to stick it out and work with it until we know that it won’t work. And I believe it is too early to give up on this process.”
Strategically, Aetna has been prudent about the risks it’s willing to take, the products it offers and how they are priced in the exchange market, Bertolini said. “Because...we get paid for the risk we’re assuming, we should be willing to take it.”
Bertolini’s commitment to developing Aetna’s exchanges should be reassuring to proponents of Obamacare. In November 2015, UnitedHealth Group said low enrollment and high costs associated with its exchanges could lead it to exit the marketplace in 2017, according to Reuters.