Friday, April 07, 2017

And Then There Was One

Remember this Golden Oldie:


As we continue to watch the (increasingly not slow-mo) implosion of ObamaCare, there's news, and then there's news that's kind of under the radar.

First the news (about which I'm sure most of our readers already know):

Wellmark is signalling that they'll follow Aetna out of the Hawkeye State:

"Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield will no longer sell new individual health insurance policies in Iowa and some Iowans who have Wellmark insurance will lose it in 2018."

Which means that, in a few months, it's likely that Iowa's individual market will be down to exactly one carrier: Medica.

And just who is Medica?

Well, they're a regional carrier "offering health plans in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin." Currently, they insure just shy of two million folks, but that includes all 6 states, and individual, group and Medicare plans.

Which raises some interesting questions:

Several months ago, we discussed "capacity;" that is, how much risk (how many clients) a given carrier is actually able to take on at any given time. The issue is no less critical here: is Medica going to be able to absorb all those new insureds?

And our friend Chad N offers this observation:

"Now Aetna is exiting Iowa’s Obamacare market.  I believe that leaves only Medica who has been very non-committal about continuing (although I’d guess they will ask for a ridiculous premium increase and corner the market since HHS and the Iowa Insurance Division will have no other choice)."

Rock, meet hard place.

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