Anthem to exit ObamaCare markets in half of Kentucky

Anthem to exit ObamaCare markets in half of Kentucky
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Insurance giant Anthem is exiting ObamaCare markets in half of the counties in Kentucky, leaving many individuals with only one insurer choice for next year.

The insurer has already announced plans to scale back participation in or leave the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) public exchanges in Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Nevada and Ohio.

The company cited the continued uncertainty over the future of ObamaCare as the main reason for the decision to pull back to just 59 counties. They also mentioned continued problems in the individual market.

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Anthem had previously planned to offer a health plan in all 120 counties in the state. 

“While we are pleased that some steps have been taken to address the long term challenges ... the individual market remains volatile,” the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Anthem specifically cited “continual changes and uncertainty in federal operations, rules and guidance, including cost sharing reduction subsidies and the restoration of taxes on fully insured coverage,” as reasons for the change.

The announcement comes as Congress is seeking a bipartisan way to stabilize ObamaCare’s insurance markets. During a hearing Wednesday, state officials called for a multi-year extension of the cost-sharing reduction payments.

The cost-sharing subsidies, which reimburse insurers for giving discounted deductibles and co-pays to low-income customers, have been made by the Trump administration on a month-to-month basis.  

Insurers have asked for long-term certainty on the payments, threatening to hike premiums and leave the ObamaCare markets altogether if they don’t get it.