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In Reversal, Aetna Pulls Back From ACA

Aetna, the nation’s third largest health insurer, has announced the most significant departure yet from the marketplaces set up by the Affordable Care Act. The company, citing $430 million in losses since January of 2014, will slash its participation from 15 states to four next year....
August 16, 2016

Aetna, the nation’s third largest health insurer, has announced the most significant departure yet from the marketplaces set up by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The company, citing $430 million in losses since January of 2014, will slash its participation from 15 states to four next year.

In an article in April on LifeHealthPro.com [Aetna: Saving the PPACA exchange system is a good investment], Aetna chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini said the business value to Aetna of the public exchange system had far outweighed any losses the company might have suffered on exchange plans during the first two years of program operations. “We see this as a good investment,” Bertolini said at the time.

Aetna’s reversal comes amid a string of announcements that large insurers are pulling back from exchange business. The announcements also come as four of the major insurers are now in a battle with the Obama administration. The Justice Department has blocked two proposed mergers—between Aetna and Humana, and Anthem and Cigna—and the companies are fighting the decisions.   

Humana said in August it would dial back its participation on the exchanges from 15 states to 11. Cigna has said that it is losing money on the exchanges, but the insurer is planning to expand its marketplace presence to three new states in 2017. Anthem has said that if its proposed deal with Cigna is allowed to go through, it will increase its exchange offerings to nine additional states.