Aetna’s decision to withdraw from the exchange in all but four states means that many Americans will be left with only one option for healthcare coverage, if any at all. The announcement came in what is perceived by most to be a retaliation to a Department of Justice lawsuit blocking its multi-billion dollar merger with Cigna, and is currently a major threat to the success of the Affordable Care Act, which aims to provide all Americans with a fair selection of affordable healthcare options.
While Aetna is not the first carrier to pull out of the exchange, it’s decision to follow suit with other major providers like United Health and Humana has created a major dilemma for citizens in areas with only one, or even no other carriers. Where there is an abundance of options, competition helps to keep monthly premiums low, but in the absence of competition, prices tend to skyrocket. This trend means that those living in areas without multiple carrier options may not be able to afford care through the exchange, even with the tax-subsidies designed to help minimize plan and premium costs.
While coverage will still be provided for those who signed up with a plan from the withdrawing carriers for 2016, they will need to select a new plan for 2017 during the upcoming open enrollment period. Based on the predicted spike in premiums and lack of options, many are expected to forego coverage. Other areas, like Pinal County, Arizona, will have no options available on the Marketplace exchange, so those who cannot afford coverage through employers or a private exchange will have no alternative. For the full story from U.S. News & World Report, click here.
To learn more about how to maximize your employee benefit offering, or for information about signing up for coverage under a private exchange, contact your Taylor agent today. Don’t have an agent? We’d love to get you connected to the power of T. Call us at (229) 247-6411 for more details. Our experts are ready to help you get the most out of your employee benefits program and develop strategies that both recruit and retain top-notch talent.