By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– Aetna announced this week that it’s withdrawing from several state insurance exchanges, including Pennsylvania’s.READ MORE: Sesame Place Announces Changes To Diversity Programs After Recent High-Profile Racial Incidents
The company insures about 31,000 people statewide, but they won’t lose health coverage.
Aetna has six percent of the policies sold through the state’s Affordable Care Act marketplace. Those policies are good through the end of the year.
For next year, though, Aetna customers will have to choose a new plan and, right now, Blue Cross is the only player in Southeastern Pennsylvania.READ MORE: 1 Dead, Multiple People Injured In Crash Involving Bus On New Jersey Turnpike
United announced earlier that they’re pulling out too.
Aetna won’t comment beyond the statement issued Monday suggesting the newly insured cost more than they pay, but since then, a July letter from Aetna to the Justice Department has surfaced, in which the CEO threatened to withdraw from state exchanges if the Department challenged its merger with Humana, which the Department did.
Whatever the actual reason, Antoinette Krauss of the Health Access Network, says the important thing is, “Open enrollment goes from November to the end of January. They’ll be able to shop for coverage and choose a new plan in the marketplace.”
Brian Lobley — President, Commercial & Consumer Markets –released the following statement:MORE NEWS: Local Red Cross Volunteers Helping Kentucky Flood Victims
“At Independence Blue Cross we are currently evaluating the impact of this announcement on our community, our members, and our business. We are committed to our members and to reform and we will continue to provide coverage in this community, as we have for nearly 80 years. But there are challenges. Last year, we spent nearly 85 cents of each premium dollar to pay for our individual members’ medical claims. When you add in expenses and taxes, we actually spent more than the premiums we received. These are some of the issues that have to be addressed to ensure the long-term stability of the individual market. Insurance is traditionally regulated by the states so the impact of this announcement may be very different in other states.”