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Humana says adios to ObamaCare. Implosion continues.
Crumbling down around us
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard about the proposed merger between health insurance giants Aetna and Humana. It was big news throughout the last year. That plan has now disintegrated, and both companies are re-jiggering their plans as they move on separately. If you think ObamaCare is part of that scenario, think again. Last August, we learned of Aetna's intentions for the ACA exchanges, and now we know Humana intends to follow suit.
Next year, Humana will go forward without the former President's signature "achievement."
They've just announced that they're going to become the latest in a long line of insurers to dump the exchanges that relied on the "stupidity of the American voter."
Regarding the company’s individual commercial medical coverage (Individual Commercial), substantially all of which is offered on-exchange through the federal Marketplaces, Humana has worked over the past several years to address market and programmatic challenges in order to keep coverage options available wherever it could offer a viable product. This has included pursuing business changes, such as modifying networks, restructuring product offerings, reducing the company’s geographic footprint and increasing premiums.
All of these actions were taken with the expectation that the company’s Individual Commercial business would stabilize to the point where the company could continue to participate in the program. However, based on its initial analysis of data associated with the company’s healthcare exchange membership following the 2017 open enrollment period, Humana is seeing further signs of an unbalanced risk pool. Therefore, the company has decided that it cannot continue to offer this coverage for 2018. Through the remainder of 2017, Humana remains committed to serving its current members across 11 states where it offers Individual Commercial products. And, as it has done in the past, Humana will work closely with its state partners as it navigates this process.
This is not the first we've heard of this, but now it's official.
There's been a lot of speculation about why the GOP has been so reluctant to take immediate action regarding the repeal of ObamaCare. This is likely the answer:
As insurers dump the exchanges, the pool becomes riskier and more expensive to cover. Any insurers who remain in the exchanges are going to have a tougher time justifying the decision to do so. That will - once again - drive up rates and deductibles. President Trump has already neutered the individual mandate, and the rest of the law will continue to collapse of its own accord.
At the rate the ACA is imploding, self-destruction may provide better political coverage than "repeal and replace."
It may also be faster.