- Just as major insurers are taking the spotlight for their ACA plan losses, with some moving to scale back their marketplace participation, Florida Blue says the market is working for them, CEO Patrick Geraghty told CNBC Tuesday.
- The discussion followed Aetna's recent revelation that it will leave the on-exchange markets in 11 of the 15 states where it participated this year, a decision it blamed on its marketplace losses like UnitedHealth and Humana, though the company had also hinted in July it would leave in retaliation if the federal government's attempted to block of its merger with Humana.
- Florida Blue's Geraghty, meanwhile, suggested their company has succeeded better than the big nationals because it knows its Florida market "intimately well."
Florida Blue does contrast in several ways with Aetna, Geraghty pointed out, with the company being a nonprofit and serving 700,000 ACA plan enrollees in one state, vs. Aetna serving about 800,000 ACA plan enrollees spread across the U.S.
"The big nationals aren't quite as in touch with local markets and it makes a very big difference," he told CNBC.
Geraghty also credited Florida Blue with anticipating and planning for its new ACA plan enrollees to be sicker and costlier than its other customers, an issue that has hammered other insurers to a higher degree than anticipated.
The insurer helped head off the issue by opening 20 retail centers around the state to help people enroll and get an immediate risk assessment in order to address problems right away.
Some other Blue plans have fared and strategized differently, however. Blue Shield of California has notably responded to its ACA losses by planning a week-long shutdown in September, eliminating almost 400 jobs and raising its 2017 rates almost 20%. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama is awaiting approval of an average ACA plan rate increase of 39%.