Aetna will become the latest health insurer to chop its participation in the Affordable Care Act's public exchanges when it trims its presence to four states for 2017, from 15 this year.
The nation's third-largest insurer said late Monday that a second-quarter pre-tax loss of $200 million from its individual insurance coverage helped it decide to limit exposure to the exchanges, which also have generated losses for UnitedHealth Group and Anthem, among other carriers.
Aetna said earlier this month it was canceling expansion plans for its exchange business in 2017.
The exchanges have helped millions of gain health coverage. But major insurers say this relatively small slice of business generates large losses in part because of higher-than-expected claims.
Government officials say the future of the exchanges remains strong.
Kevin Counihan, Marketplace CEO released the following statement:
“Aetna’s decision to alter its Marketplace participation does not change the fundamental fact that the Health Insurance Marketplace will continue to bring quality coverage to millions of Americans next year and every year after that. It’s no surprise that companies are adapting at different rates to a market where they compete for business on cost and quality rather than by denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions. But the ACA Marketplace is serving more than 11 million people and has helped America reach the lowest uninsured rate on record. With high consumer satisfaction, more people getting care, and an improving risk pool, incoming data continue to show that the future of the Marketplace is strong.”