Bye bye, so long farewell, Aetna fully exits Obamacare exchanges with pull-out in two states

Health insurer Aetna Inc said on Wednesday it will exit the 2018 Obamacare individual insurance market in Delaware and Nebraska – the two remaining states where it offered the plans.

Aetna had already said it would exit the individual commercial market in Virginia and Iowa, after pulling out of several other states last year.

Aetna has now “completely exited the exchanges,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Insurers Humana Inc and UnitedHealth Group Inc have also pulled out of most of the government-subsidized individual health insurance market.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives last week voted to undo the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, the signature domestic achievement of former President Barack Obama.

But even if the Republicans’ bill – known as the American Health Care Act – is passed by the Senate it would not solve a critical outstanding issue for insurers looking at 2018: Will the government continue to fund the cost-sharing subsidies that help individuals pay for care?

Health insurers have said they cannot plan amid the uncertainty. In addition, the balance of sick and healthy customers has been worse than expected, and premium rates on the individual insurance market went up 25 percent this year.

Republican Madness

I fail to understand House speaker Paul Ryan and president Trump attempting to fix Obamacare before it blows up. The proper strategy would have been to wait for Obamacare to implode on its own merits.

A complete implosion cannot take more than another year or so, and at that time Democrats would have been begging the Trump administration to “do something”.

See You In September?

I am quite certain we will not see Aetna in September but by September we may have Senate revisions to the House Obamacare replacement.

I offer this musical tribute.


On a more serious note, on May 4 I wrote Republican Sponsored “Trumpcare” Passes House: Hooray?

Let’s assume that months from now (and that’s about how long it will take) some sort of compromise bill passes the Senate. Let’s also assume the House votes to go along.

Then there will be winners and losers, but far more losers than winners. The losers will be upset. Even those unaffected may be upset if they blame the bill for increasing their costs.

For What?

This folly could cost the Republicans their majority in the 2018 midterm election.

For what? The bill nibbles around the edges and provides no incentives to lower costs.

This is a disaster on-deck with virtually no chance of an upside. Republicans now own healthcare (Trumpcare) whether a compromise bill passes or not.


Mike “Mish” Shedlock