Third-Largest Insurance Company Set to Exit ACA Marketplace by 2018

Aetna will no longer offer individual plans in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance exchanges in 2018, because of declining sales and uncertainty over the future of the health-care market.

Aetna is dropping out of its final two exchanges, in Delaware and Nebraska, after recently announcing exits from Virginia and Iowa. Aetna, the third-largest insurer in the United States, originally entered the marketplace in 15 states in 2014 but was in just four states by 2017.

The decision means that the 12,000 individual patients in Delaware who are insured under Aetna will need to find new coverage for 2018. Nebraska may be left with no options in the ACA marketplace, as no other insurance company has voiced an intention to fill the gap.

The withdrawal of Aetna from the ACA marketplace exemplifies the partisan conflict over the current state of health-care policy. Insurance companies are not enrolling enough young, healthy patients to offset the cost of covering older individuals who use more health-care services. Aetna reportedly lost $450 million last year in the individual-plan marketplace.

Source: The Washington Post, May 10, 2017.