Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Aetna Not Pulling Plug on Obamacare .... Yet

In a not so surprising announcement from Aetna, CEO Mark Bertolini said Aetna is not giving up on Obamacare (yet) but  "has serious concerns about the sustainability of the public exchanges". - Bloomberg

Update on Obamacare by the numbers.

  • Aetna’s 1 million individual commercial members make up 4.3 percent of its total membership, as of Dec. 31. Of those, 750,000 are people who signed up through the exchanges.
  • UnitedHealth has said that it will probably take about $1 billion in losses on Obamacare plans when 2015 and 2016 results are combined. The company has that it should have stayed out of the market longer, and that it may quit the program in 2017
Indeed, the exchange (now called "The Marketplace") is a disaster for the carriers. 

Many who purchased coverage via the exchange pay little or nothing in premiums thanks to overly generous government handouts. 

Quite a few that secured coverage through the exchange did not have health insurance before. Some because they could not afford it. Others because a pre-existing health condition prohibited them from buying coverage.

A significant number of those who have a medical problem will rent insurance for a few months, get their medical issue treated, then drop coverage. The average time on the books for exchange business is 7 months and many cancel within 90 days.

Navigators that work for the exchange have no real understanding of health insurance and frequently take applications for people who should not qualify for coverage.  Subsequent audits for required documentation often results in coverage that is cancelled by the carrier due to compliance issues.

A significant number of policies are also cancelled for non-payment of premium. This, in spite of the fact that many subsidized premiums are less than $10 per month!

Obamacare has turned out to be little more than snake oil that came with promises to lower your premiums, allow you to keep your doctor and your plan and the ability to bend the health care cost curve thereby saving millions of dollars.

Instead, most have lost their plan and their doctor, their premiums are double or triple what they were before (plus higher deductibles and out of pocket) and there is no indication of actual savings in health care.

Voters were promised a health care panacea and what we got was a turd.

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