Anthem Cuts It’s Losses, Abandons The ObamaCare Exchanges

ObamaCare Exchanges
"You won't take my insurance either? I just went through this at the last clinic!"

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield has announced that it would completely exit the Obamacare exchange in Nevada as early as next year. The insurance provider, in a previous announcement, had said that it would continue to offer plans in Nevada’s three urban counties, essentially leaving the population of 14 counties without any insurance or health coverage by 2018.

The insurance provider will reportedly supply one catastrophic care plan to the Nevada exchanges for at least the end of next year.

Anthem also announced its exit from roughly half the counties in Georgia.

“Today, planning and pricing for ACA-compliant health plans has become increasingly difficult due to a shrinking and deteriorating individual market, as well as continual changes and uncertainty in federal operations, rules and guidance, including cost sharing reduction subsidies and the restoration of taxes on fully insured coverage,” the company said.

“Our commitment to members has always been to provide greater access to affordable, quality health care, and we will continue to advocate solutions that will stabilize the market and allow us to return to a more robust presence in Nevada in the future,” the company stated.

Only a few months ago, Anthem announced that it had also decided to exit Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana’s Obamacare exchanges. The reasons cited for such a decision were similar to the ones given now – Obamacare plans pricing problems and a shaky individual market.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released data suggesting that due to major insurers exiting the exchanges, at least 19 more counties across the US are expected to be without an insurer by 2018.

“Currently for 2018, at least 13,008 Americans currently enrolled for health coverage on the exchanges live in the counties projected to be without coverage in 2018,” the agency said.

The agency also estimates that 40% of counties, around 1,352, will only be left with one health insurer on the Obamacare exchanges by next year. This means that almost 2.3 million people will only have one option for health insurance.

“In addition to overall issuer participation, increasing rates have also been a concern for the health insurer exchanges,” the agency said. “A number of insurers in several states requested rate increases of 30% or more. Also, consumers in the 39 HealthCare.gov states have already seen their premiums increase more than 100% since 2013.”

In a statement, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said that he was “frustrated and disappointed” by the insurance providers “surprise and abrupt decision to leave the healthcare exchange.”

“This is a significant blow to the state’s individual market,” he said.