Saturday, January 29, 2011

Obamacare - Another One Bites The Dust

Obamacare has led to one more health insurance company withdrawing from the market. This means less competition, fewer choices, higher rates. Aetna is pulling out of the Colorado market as of 2/1/2011. They will no longer offer health insurance for individuals, families or self employed in Colorado.

Aetna decided to withdraw from the small group health insurance market in Colorado last October (2010), so this is a natural progression.

Existing major medical policyholders will be offered one 12 month renewal before their coverage with Aetna terminates.

Aetna is still under a cloud imposed by CMS (Center for Medicare Services) and is enjoined from offering Medicare Advantage plans anywhere in the United States. This sanction has lasted for a year with no indication it will be lifted any time soon.

As for now, Aetna has not indicated they will withdraw from the individual major medical market or small group market in any other states, including Georgia. Given their relatively small market share we would not be surprised in seeing them systematically withdraw from other states over the next few months.

If you currently have Aetna coverage for individual major medical or small group coverage, now might be a good time to consider making a change.

Employer group health plans can move at any time without loss of coverage.

Individuals in GA and other states are not as lucky. Only those who can pass underwriting will be able to move to a new health insurance company. Do not drop your Aetna coverage until you have secured new coverage from a new health insurance company. Do not make application with a new health insurance company until you have had your medical conditions pre-screened by a competent health insurance agent.

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