Aetna Re-evaluates Obamacare (ACA) Involvement

Posted August 12, 2016 by Mary McGinley

On Tuesday, Aetna announced that it will be canceling its ObamaCare expansion plans for 2017. The company further said it is looking at “a complete evaluation” of its current exchange footprint.

Currently, Aetna runs ObamaCare plans in 15 states and had been planning to join an additional five more state exchanges. The brakes have been applied to analyze the products because of their poor performance, according to CEO Mark Bertolini.

This is a conflicting message to those watching the issue.  In April at healthcare conference held by J.P. Morgan, Bertolini called ObamaCare “a good investment.” He also said that the Universal Healthcare law’s goal of universal coverage is “incredibly important” and suggested this social mission helped offset the company’s losses on the exchanges for ObamaCare first two years. He has stated that it is too early to give up on the process.

It could be investor pressure that has caused Bertolini change his stance slightly. Doubts about the healthcare law and what the cost to the bottom line will be are not unique to Aetna.  Recently, UnitedHealth Group announced that it planned to liquidate all of its Affordable Care Act coverage. Even Blue Cross Blue Shield, which was formerly a non-profit insurer, has said that the losses and rising costs have proven to be too much for it. Medicaid contracting companies which regularly deliver a lower standard of medical care seem to be the only ones who are not losing incredible amounts of money in Obamacare.

For-profit health care companies in the U.S. seem to be at a crossroads when it comes to being a part of the government-run health insurance law or whether to serve the interests of their investors and shareholders.

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