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May 24, 2017

BCBS Kansas City Joins Growing List of Insurers Pulling Out of ACA

Matthews: We are seeing the collapse of the individual health insurance market
  Institute for Policy Innovation

DALLAS – Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) resident scholar Dr. Merrill Matthews issued the following statement regarding Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City pulling out of the Affordable Care Act market for 2018.

“Today, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City announced it will join a long and quickly growing list of health insurers that have concluded Democrats and President Obama had no idea how to reform the health insurance system when they imposed the Affordable Care Act on the country.  

Blue KC will be dropping out of the individual health insurance market for both those in and out of the Obamacare exchanges next year, affecting some 67,000 policyholders. The company claims its losses of $100 million from 2014 to 2016 are unsustainable.  

Earlier in May, Medica, the last insurer selling individual health insurance in most of Iowa, said it would be pulling out of Obamacare. Wellmark and Aetna announced in April they would be pulling of Iowa. 

Then in May, Aetna said it would pull out of several other states. According to CNN, "The company said it expects to lose more than $200 million in its individual business line this year, on top of nearly $700 million in losses between 2014 and 2016. Aetna withdrew from 11 of its 15 markets for 2017."

Just a few weeks ago the media ran a number of stories of how health insurers were turning things around, and would soon be profitable once again. Fake news? Maybe the media forgot to ask Blue KC, Aetna, Wellmark and Medica. Oh, and Molina.

The media ran similar stories a few years ago, touting how California-based Molina was doing well and making money selling Obamacare policies. Earlier this month Molina's board fired the CEO because the company was losing so much money. 

Democrats sold Obamacare as a way to expand access to health insurance and lower the costs. Just the opposite is happening.  What we are seeing is the collapse of the individual health insurance market—a market that, while not perfect, worked reasonably well for millions of Americans.”


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