DEATH SPIRAL: Insurance Giant AETNA Abandoning Obamacare Exchanges

Many health insurance companies have left the Obamacare exchanges over the last few years but this is big news given Aetna’s size. They’ve been losing money under Obamacare and starting next year, they’re pulling out.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Aetna completely exits Obamacare exchanges, cites massive losses

Health insurance giant Aetna said Wednesday that it will not be participating in any Obamacare exchanges in 2018.

“Our individual commercial products lost nearly $700 million between 2014 and 2016, and are projected to lose more than $200 million in 2017 despite a significant reduction in membership,” T.J. Crawford, Aetna spokesman, said in an email.

The reason for the losses, he said, came from structural issues within the exchanges “that have led to co-op failures and carrier exits, and subsequent risk pool deterioration.” He did not cite uncertainty over the future of Obamacare, as the company had done when it announced last week that it would be exiting the exchange in Virginia.

Aetna also announced in early April that it would be pulling out of the exchange in Iowa, and the latest announcement adds Delaware and Nebraska to that list, both on and off the exchange.

Insurers have lost money in the exchanges for a variety of reasons, including that not enough young and healthy people enrolled in the federally-subsidized plans to offset the cost of covering older and sicker individuals with higher medical spending.

Obamacare needs to be repealed as soon as possible.

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