An­them to exit Ohio ex­change

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Shelby Liv­ingston

Cit­ing volatil­ity in the in­di­vid­ual in­sur­ance mar­ket and un­cer­tainty over fund­ing for cost­shar­ing sub­si­dies, An­them an­nounced last week that it will leave Ohio’s health in­sur­ance ex­change in 2018.

An­them has been hint­ing for months that it may pull out of some Af­ford­able Care Act ex­changes, but Ohio marks its first re­treat. The In­di­anapo­lis-based in­surer sells poli­cies on ex­changes in 13 other states. An­them cov­ers about 1.1 mil­lion ex­change mem­bers.

An­them said that while some steps have been taken to ad­dress chal­lenges plagu­ing the in­di­vid­ual mar­ket, con­tin­ued un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing fund­ing for cost-shar­ing sub­si­dies that help low in-in­come Amer­i­cans af­ford ex­change cov­er­age and the taxes on fully in­sured health plans keep the mar­ket from sta­bi­liz­ing.

An­them is the only in­surer in 2017 sell­ing plans in all 88 Ohio coun­ties. Its exit would leave at least 18 Ohio coun­ties with­out an in­surer, ac­cord­ing to the state’s in­sur­ance reg­u­la­tors. About 10,500 en­rollees re­ceive cov­er­age in those coun­ties.

“For the past few years we have seen a weak­en­ing in the fed­eral in­sur­ance mar­ket­place as a num­ber of com­pa­nies have with­drawn from the ex­change,” Chris Brock, a spokesman for the Ohio Depart­ment of In­sur­ance, said in a state­ment. “We have al­ways ar­gued the pri­vate in­sur­ance mar­ket is the most se­verely im­pacted by the fed­eral law and that is where con­gres­sional ac­tion is needed to re­store sta­bil­ity.”

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