Those who are taking advantage of the Affordable Care Act may find themselves with fewer choices in carriers. Three major insurance companies are pulling out of the marketplace, and this can leave some counties with only one carrier and others with only two.
Why Are Insurance Companies Pulling Out of the Marketplace?
This lack of competition as far as insurance companies goes is largely due to a lawsuit that the Obama administration is part of in trying to prevent two major insurance companies from coming together into a merger. The administration contends that it would harm the competition. One of the companies, Aetna, had previously said that they were going to expand the plans that they were going to offer in the marketplace. However, after the lawsuit was filed, they decided to exit the marketplace in most areas of the United States.
The other company involved in the lawsuit, Anthem, has not said that they are pulling out of the state marketplaces. However, it has hinted that it may leave in the future, simply because of the money lost on its Obamacare claims last year.
Completely separate from the above legal battle, the largest insurance company in the country, United Healthcare, reduced its offerings in the marketplace to just five states. This comes after seeing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses in plans and claims over the last few years.
Some Areas Worse Than Others
Some areas of the country are seeing a lack of competition more than others. This is especially true in the South. In fact, South Carolina and Alabama are finding that none of their counties have more than one carrier option; North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi are seeing this in the majority of their counties as well. The only state not seeing this trend in the South is Arkansas. Every county in this state has at least three different carriers to choose from in the marketplace.
Research Finds Some Good New About ACA
A study released recently by the University of Miami School of Business had some good news about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Based on over 100 other studies of the ACA, it was found that approximately 20 million Americans had received coverage through the ACA. It broke down to 11.7 million receiving coverage through the marketplace, almost 11 million receiving coverage through Medicaid, and 3 million young adults being able to stay on their parent’s insurance.
On the other side of the coin, this research study found that there were not enough providers that accept ACA plans. Almost 40 percent of Americans still say that they have an issue getting health care access, and this is especially true for those who are impoverished or people of color.
More Work Still to Do
The Affordable Care Act is a mix of good and bad, but it has given many Americans access to health care for the first time ever. Unfortunately, however, it sounds like it is time for some attention to be given to the plan to ensure that it continues to work for Americans now and in the future.
Are you an employer or employee struggling to adapt to Obamacare? Contact Skyline Risk Management, Inc. at (718) 267-6600 to voice your concerns.