Aetna, one of America’s largest health insurance companies, announced Thursday it was completely withdrawing from Obamacare exchanges by 2018, the Washington Examiner reported.
The company had apparently considered staying on in Nevada, where participation in the exchange was a mandatory part of a Medicaid contract that the insurance powerhouse had won. However, during an earnings call, the company announced it wouldn’t be moving forward with the contract.
“Our 2018 participation was required based on a Medicaid contract with the state,” Aetna spokesman T.J. Crawford wrote in an email. “As a result of terminating that contract for unrelated reasons, we will not have a presence on the individual exchange in Nevada.”
Since withdrawing from most of the Obamacare exchanges, the insurance giant has seen a significant financial windfall, beating estimates in the second quarter with 52 percent profit growth. The insurer lost $700 million on the exchanges between 2014 and 2016 and was expected to lose another $200 million in 2017 despite pulling out of most of them.
“What we should do is fix it. So either everyone gets their heads together over in the Senate and the House and does the job that the American people needs them to do, and fix what we already have, or they should move on to something else,” Bertolini said.
“Any business that has the kind of changes this program has seen quarter over quarter, sometimes monthly, would not be able to sustain their business practices for any period of time,” he added. “So when they get it right — which, it can be fixed, it very much can be fixed — and it’s stable, we’ll reconsider participation.”
This seems to be an odd position, considering the relative “stability” the program had between 2010 and Jan. 20 of this year, during which time the Democrats controlled the White House and the Republican Party was thoroughly unwilling to do anything but posture about Obamacare.
It’s good to see where Bertolini’s bread is buttered, but one ought to look at his actions as opposed to his words. Much like every other insurance firm, the company he helms is bowing out of the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges.
Pushing his specious concerns about “stability” and “fixing what we already have,” what we’re left with is another company that’s seen massive losses from exchanges that are disproportionately joined by unhealthy individuals who are a monetary drain on the system. The only way to stabilize that situation is getting rid of the whole rotten structure and starting anew.
H/T Business Insider
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