Study: Most insurers not looking to exit ObamaCare

Most insurers are not discussing exiting ObamaCare marketplaces and some could in fact could grow their participation, according to a new analysis

{mosads}The Commonwealth Fund reviewed insurer earnings calls to get a broader picture of experiences on the healthcare marketplaces, after the attention given to United Healthcare dropping out of many states. 

The analysis found that only one other insurer, Humana, explicitly said it is considering exiting ObamaCare marketplaces in 2017. 

“Though insurers are likely to make changes to the number of products they offer and the markets they participate in, earnings calls and filings show that most of the large, publicly traded insurers remain committed to the marketplaces,” the analysis finds. 

Many insurers have been losing money on the ObamaCare marketplaces, which is likely to lead to larger premium increases for next year, a trend that Republicans have seized on. 

The analysis finds that despite these early losses, many insurers see opportunities to grow their involvement in the marketplaces as they adapt. 

“Most insurers continue to assert that the marketplaces offer value and claim they are, for example, ‘well-positioned’ (Anthem) or in a ‘very good place’ (Aetna) to grow and sustain this business over time,” the Commonwealth Fund finds. 

Still, there are challenges for insurers, and many are calling for policy changes. Those changes include tightening up the rules around extra sign-up periods that insurers say people use to game the system, or to loosen up the rules around what an insurance plan must cover. 

The analysis notes that not all insurers will succeed in the new marketplaces, but “there are clearly insurers that see business value in marketplace participation and are committed to the underlying principles of the [Affordable Care Act.]”

Tags Aetna Insurance Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act UnitedHealth Group

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