- With a number of carriers set to exit public health exchange markets across the U.S., the remaining insurers in those markets could grab with smartly priced policies, Charles Gaba blogs on ACASignups.net.
- 2015 saw the demise of about a dozen ACA-created co-ops, forcing 800,000 people to receive and/or look around for new plans. Four more co-ops bellied up this year in Connecticut, Ohio, Illinois and Oregon, putting another 131,000 people up for grabs.
- That’s not to mention the 600,000 or so consumers left adrift by Aetna’s recent decision to drop its exchange plans in 11 states. Meanwhile, Humana is dropping out of 88% of the counties it currently participates in, and United Healthcare is scaling back to exchanges in just four states.
All told, that’s around 1.8 million people who will need to find a new plan, Gaba notes. He advises people enrolling in ACA exchange policies to “shop around, shop around, shop around,” even if they end up staying with their current plan. Doing so can usually turn up a better deal, he says.
Gaba points out, however, that not everyone has the option of shopping around if their carrier leaves the exchange market. Under HHS guidelines, enrollees can’t be rolled over from one plan to another offered by a different carrier; however, they may be auto-renewed in an off-exchange policy if their current carrier continues to offer that option in the state. In such cases, individuals would lose any cost-sharing or premium subsidies that they enjoyed in the exchange.
On Monday, Aetna announced it would exit nearly 70% of the ACA markets it participates in next year — paring down to 242 counties, from 778. The company will continue an on-exchange presence in Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia.
Likewise, UnitedHealth has decided to largely leave the markets. Both companies have citing continued financial losses with Obamacare.
This is creating opportunities for other insurers to go after people in exchange markets that may be profitable.