Last week, the nation’s largest insurance provider, Anthem, announced it would exit the Obamacare marketplaces in two more states – Indiana and Wisconsin. Now, dozens more counties – and hundreds of thousands of families – will have no choices for insurance next year. Anthem’s announcement comes just two weeks after it made the decision to stop selling Obamacare insurance in Ohio, where 18 counties will not have a single insurance option.
Anthem is just the latest in a long line of insurers fleeing for the Obamacare exit. Just look at the last six months:
- After more than a year of scaling back its participation in Obamacare’s marketplaces, Aetna announced it would completely withdraw from Obamacare’s individual market exchanges in 2018, citing massive financial losses.
- Humana announced its full departure from all of Obamacare’s marketplaces in 2018, leaving many Americans with few – if any – places to turn for their health care coverage.
- One of Iowa’s last remaining insurers, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, decided to leave the state’s individual insurance marketplaces in 2018 – leaving 94 out of 99 counties with only one insurance option.
- One of Nebraska’s last remaining insurers, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, declared its intent to drop out of the state’s Obamacare marketplace, abandoning nearly 100,000 Nebraskans and prompting Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts to say: “[this] demonstrates the failure of Obamacare and how the system was so poorly designed.”
- The last Obamacare insurer in parts of Missouri, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, said it would leave Obamacare’s individual marketplace in 2018, forcing Missourians in 25 counties to change insurance plans – and possibly forgo coverage altogether.
By the end of 2017, all of these failures will add up:
- People living in more than 40 percent of counties across the country could have only one insurance option.
- People living in 47 counties could be without a single insurance provider, leaving 34,000 Americans with nowhere to turn for coverage.
As more Americans are left with fewer choices, the last remaining Obamacare insurers have been forced to hike premiums – significantly increasing how much consumers (and taxpayers) must pay for coverage each month. According to data the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) collected from the previous Administration, premiums have more than doubled under Obamacare, forcing millions of Americans to pay on average $3,000 more for insurance this year on the individual marketplaces than they did in 2013.
Earlier this month, HHS released two reports highlighting how these failures are hurting families – many of whom are choosing to no longer pay the price for Obamacare. As Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said:
“These reports are further proof that Americans don’t want to buy what Obamacare is selling: expensive insurance that fails to meet their health care needs. So far this year, nearly 2 million more people didn’t keep their coverage through Obamacare’s individual insurance marketplace – in large part because of doubling premiums, dwindling choices, and less access to the care that’s right for them.”
As the Senate builds off of our work to repeal and replace this failing law, House Republicans are continuing to pass legislation that protects and expands access to affordable, quality health care options.