- Aetna spokeswoman Cynthia Michener stated Tuesday the industry giant would be ending its membership this year in the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).
- As the nation's third-largest health insurer--poised to potentially grow larger with its pending merger with Humana--Aetna's departure is a major hit to AHIP, notes The Hill.
- Aetna's departure follows that of United Healthcare, the largest U.S. health insurer, which left AHIP last summer citing interests “no longer best represented by AHIP.”
Michener stated Aetna would continue to partner with groups working "toward expanding access to high-quality, affordable health care.”
The moves follow change at AHIP, with United Healthcare having left just a month after former AHIP CEO Karen Ignagni left the post to lead EmblemHealth.
Ignagni had been seen as effective and as a significant influencer during the drafting of the Affordable Care Act in 2009 and 2010, notes The Hill.
AHIP is now led by another major influencer, Marilyn Tavenner, who came to the position of AHIP president and CEO after leaving her former post as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Tavenner released a statement Tuesday stating “AHIP's successful advocacy record speaks for itself,” adding, “Our members depend on AHIP to advance their key priorities, to strengthen the public-private programs that provide coverage for millions of Americans, and to deliver solutions that improve access to high quality, affordable care for consumers.”