Loss of Anchor Insurance leaves 20 Ohio counties with no Obamacare coverage

Anchor Insurance, a major Obamacare insurance provider, announced that it will not offer insurance plans on the Ohio Obamacare exchange next year, leaving consumers in 20 counties without any subsidized insurance options at all.

Anchor cited "uncertainty" in the market as the major reason why it is pulling out of Obamacare.

Daily Caller:

Anthem's move Tuesday marks its first exit from a state Obamacare exchanges, although the company has repeatedly warned it would exit from exchanges if conditions did not improve. Its exit from the Ohio exchanges is likely to leave consumers in 18 Ohio counties without the option of purchasing an Obamacare plan, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The insurer currently offers plans in 13 states and expects to continue offering plans on the exchanges through 2018. Anthem held its decision to continue to serve Obamacare consumers in Connecticut until the last minute, and could still choose to withdraw from any, or all, of the 13 states in 2018. 

Like many insurers who have opted out of various state Obamacare exchanges in recent months, Anthem cited uncertainty and "volatility" in the Obamacare marketplaces as reason for its decision. The company believes the "increasing lack of overall predictability simply does not provide a sustainable path forward to provide affordable plan choices for consumers."

Anthem will offer insurance plans in just one Ohio county, Pike, but they will not offer Obamacare plans in that county.

Anthem's exit marks the second major insurance provider to opt out of state Obamacare exchanges in the region. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City announced in late-May that it will no longer offer or renew insurance plans on the city's Obamacare exchange next year in Kansas or Missouri.

The problem isn't localized, but spreading across the nation. Humana became the first insurance provider to completely opt out altogether in February, announcing it would no longer offer health insurance plans on state exchanges in 2018. Aetna announced in early-May that its exit from the exchanges nationwide.

How much longer can the state exchanges stay viable?  As Anchor points out, the individual market for health insurance is dying, as companies simply cannot make money because their customer base is far older and sicker than they can afford.

The federal government was supposed to protect insurance companies from this eventuality by making up a sizable portion of their losses.  But the GOP Congress scotched that idea, and insurance companies have now become victims of their own hubris.  They pushed Obamacare back in 2010, salivating at the idea of millions of new government-subsidized customers.  It didn't work out that way, and when the Obama administration couldn't come through with payments from the insurance slush fund, companies began to withdraw from the exchanges.

Obamacare will continue to limp along, because most Americans still get their insurance through their place of employment.  But for the 5-7 million of us who have to purchase insurance through an exchange, our options are narrowing – and becoming more expensive.

Anchor Insurance, a major Obamacare insurance provider, announced that it will not offer insurance plans on the Ohio Obamacare exchange next year, leaving consumers in 20 counties without any subsidized insurance options at all.

Anchor cited "uncertainty" in the market as the major reason why it is pulling out of Obamacare.

Daily Caller:

Anthem's move Tuesday marks its first exit from a state Obamacare exchanges, although the company has repeatedly warned it would exit from exchanges if conditions did not improve. Its exit from the Ohio exchanges is likely to leave consumers in 18 Ohio counties without the option of purchasing an Obamacare plan, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The insurer currently offers plans in 13 states and expects to continue offering plans on the exchanges through 2018. Anthem held its decision to continue to serve Obamacare consumers in Connecticut until the last minute, and could still choose to withdraw from any, or all, of the 13 states in 2018. 

Like many insurers who have opted out of various state Obamacare exchanges in recent months, Anthem cited uncertainty and "volatility" in the Obamacare marketplaces as reason for its decision. The company believes the "increasing lack of overall predictability simply does not provide a sustainable path forward to provide affordable plan choices for consumers."

Anthem will offer insurance plans in just one Ohio county, Pike, but they will not offer Obamacare plans in that county.

Anthem's exit marks the second major insurance provider to opt out of state Obamacare exchanges in the region. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City announced in late-May that it will no longer offer or renew insurance plans on the city's Obamacare exchange next year in Kansas or Missouri.

The problem isn't localized, but spreading across the nation. Humana became the first insurance provider to completely opt out altogether in February, announcing it would no longer offer health insurance plans on state exchanges in 2018. Aetna announced in early-May that its exit from the exchanges nationwide.

How much longer can the state exchanges stay viable?  As Anchor points out, the individual market for health insurance is dying, as companies simply cannot make money because their customer base is far older and sicker than they can afford.

The federal government was supposed to protect insurance companies from this eventuality by making up a sizable portion of their losses.  But the GOP Congress scotched that idea, and insurance companies have now become victims of their own hubris.  They pushed Obamacare back in 2010, salivating at the idea of millions of new government-subsidized customers.  It didn't work out that way, and when the Obama administration couldn't come through with payments from the insurance slush fund, companies began to withdraw from the exchanges.

Obamacare will continue to limp along, because most Americans still get their insurance through their place of employment.  But for the 5-7 million of us who have to purchase insurance through an exchange, our options are narrowing – and becoming more expensive.

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