Anthem is the latest of the big insurers to announce its withdrawal from a state-based Obamacare exchange, following similar announcements from Aetna and Humana. In Anthem’s case, they will be leaving Ohio’s Obamacare exchange in 2018, which will result in up to 18 counties having no ACA plans available.
The move is the first withdrawal by Anthem, a huge exchange insurer that has warned repeatedly that it was weighing its future in the ACA marketplaces, which sell health insurance to individuals. The decision will likely create alarm in the other 13 states where Anthem offers individual health-insurance plans.
Those other states include Virginia, Maine and Connecticut, which have Anthem options … for now. The volatility of the Obamacare exchange market led Blue Cross and Blue Shield to announce its exit next year from the Kansas City area, leaving that large market void of options.
The ill-conceived Obamacare plan called for most Americans to be compelled to buy health insurance (Chief Justice John “It’s a Tax” Roberts, helped to make that happen, if you’ll recall). In order for lower income individuals and families to obtain health care subsidies, they were required to purchase their coverage through an Obamacare exchange. If they live in one of those markets that are soon to be without insurers, low income Americans will still have to buy insurance, but will not have access to the promised subsidies.
So, while much of the media salivates over whether or not President Trump will livetweet James Comey’s Congressional testimony this Thursday, they virtually ignore his predecessor’s crowning failure as it systematically collapses across the country. When real Americans are hurt by Democratic policies, the media goes silent.
It will be interesting to see what happens in Ohio, a state that is grappling with an opioid epidemic. Its Republican governor, John Kasich, has condemned GOP efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, saying the nation’s “soul” is at stake.